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Macready! Dickens' Theatrical Friend

by Stratford Productions

spoken-word-and-live-literature, theatre

A compelling solo show about the great Victorian actor-manager, Macready - the man to whom Charles Dickens dedicated "Nicholas Nickleby".

about the production

With passion, humour, emotion, and an array of characters, actor Mark Stratford takes the audience on a journey through the fascinating world of Victorian theatre and the extraordinary, yet conflicted life of William Charles Macready; from his first tentative steps on stage in a tatty country theatre to his final ever performance at the mighty Drury Lane! And, as this year (2023) marks the 150th anniversary of Macready's death, the production also pays a timely tribute to this theatrical pioneer who did so much to influence our theatre of today.

about the artist

Stratford Productions was set up in 2019 by actor/writer Mark Stratford in order to produce and tour his two solo plays: (1) "Drama King" - the story of one of the 19th Century’s greatest actor-managers, William Charles Macready, and; (2) "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" - adapted from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. Mark's aim is to perform the shows to as many people as possible by taking them to as many suitable venues in the UK as possible.

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stage dimensions

width: 3 metres

height: 3 metres

depth: 3 metres

End-on staging works best. Use of venue’s lighting and sound equipment needed. Venue technician needed for LX and SX set-up and operation. Fully marked LX and SX cue script available on day of get-in or in advance. LX plan available on day of get-in or in advance. Small number of different standard lighting states required.
SX plan and sound files available on day of get-in or in advance. Minimal set provided by the company: 1 small table and 4 chairs. Venue to provide foh staff.

People who like a good story faithfully and passionately told - in this case a real-life - and little known - one.
Anyone aged 12+ (suitable for families).
Students of Drama and Performing Arts (GCSE, BTEC, A Level and Degree).
People interested in theatrical history / Victorian period.

"Stratford’s remarkable ability to tell Macready's story and create characters brings it all to life… It is a joy to see Stratford take on the many roles and voices”

Broadway Baby (Brighton Fringe)

"Stratford’s great gift is to equally inhabit the life and soul of Macready... 'Drama King' shows us the many ups and downs of Macready’s career and it’s gripping to watch"

GScene (Brighton Fringe)

"This is 75 minutes of the most effective theatrical storytelling...It is a truly mesmerising performance." - In praise of Mark Stratford’s other solo show "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.")

North West End UK

The performance could be made accessible by venues providing interpreters or captioning/audio description equipment.

Happy to include a post-show discussion / Q&A by advance request at no extra cost.
An interval can be inserted effectively at about 40 minutes in

Ideally a guarantee of £450 (including travel/accommodation) but happy to negotiate depending on budget, capacity and location including box office splits. VAT does not apply.

The show involves only 1 person (the performer) and so only 1 dressing room/area is required. The performer never leaves the stage during the performance.