Maureen: Harbinger of Death

A touching and real homage to older women, celebrating the indomitable voice, wisdom and unapologetic passions of dames who defy invisibility.

Framed by velvet, Jatz crackers and cigarettes, join Maureen in her bohemian living-room for a journey of exquisite storytelling brimming with acerbic life advice, spirited friends now gone and limitless imagination.

With minimal costume and props, writer and performer Jonny Hawkins transforms into Maureen before our eyes in a solo work that relishes the heroic strength of female elders that is too often dismissed by society.

Co-created with director Nell Ranney, and inspired by Hawkins’ real-life friend, a self-described ‘working class glamour queen’, Maureen: Harbinger of Death redefines our concepts of older women, honours the bounties of intergenerational relationships and pays tribute to kindness, individuality and dignity.

Maureen: Harbinger of Death was developed independently by Jonny Hawkins and Nell Ranney.  Its premiere season was produced by Sign of the Acorn for the 2021 Sydney Festival. In 2022 it played at the 2022 RISING! Festival in Melbourne and the Darwin Festival and in 2023 it toured to Festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe, the Adelaide Festival and the Festival of Colour in Wãnaka, New Zealand.

“… Hawkins plays her with such magnanimity that she grows in our hearts, gladdens us, saddens us, and makes us want her to live forever.” ★★★★1⁄2  Sydney Morning Herald

Maureen is the real jewel of the [Sydney] festival.”  The Saturday Paper

An intimate celebration of matriarchal power, this is one swan-song you won’t want to miss  Timeout

A marvellous creation: ★★★★ The Stage, UK

One show that everyone should have on their “go to” list for this year’s Fringe  ★★★★★ Arts Reviews Edinburgh  

“Exquisitely crafted theatre.”  ★★★★★ Fringefeed

Performed and written by Jonny Hawkins
Co-conceived and directed by: Nell Ranney
Set and Costume Design: Isobel Hudson
Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper
Touring Lighting Realiser: Morgan Moroney
Composition: Steve Toulmin
Photography by Joe Engstrom

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