This autumn Pauline McLynn will take on the titular role in MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN, Red Ladder Theatre Company’s 50th anniversary production. Artistic director Rod Dixon directs Bertolt Brecht’s timeless anti-war play, from the dark and witty translation by Lee Hall, as an immersive production taking place from 28 September – 20 October at Albion Electric warehouse in Leeds. Audiences will follow in the footsteps of Brecht’s fearless matriarch as she hauls her wagon through battlefields and bombed out villages. A live musical score is composed by Chumbawamba founder member Boff Whalley (BIG SOCIETY!/WRONG ‘UN), with musical arrangement by singer-songwriter Beccy Owen.

The first classic play to be staged by Red Ladder in its 50year history, Rod Dixon’s production for the company’s landmark anniversary re-examines the relevance of Brecht’s 20th century masterpiece for today. Echoing the contemporary refugees’ universal displacement, MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN asks urgent questions surrounding the stigma and fear of immigration and the effects of war. It integrates a professional cast and community chorus, with Red Ladder supported by Leeds Playhouse as a Theatre of Sanctuary for refugee and asylum seekers in Leeds, and working with local organisations MAPS – the Leeds City Council migrant support service – Open Source Arts, and Leeds Asylum Seeker Network.

Best known for her award-winning comedy role as Mrs Doyle in the TV series Father Ted, celebrated Irish actor and author Pauline McLynn takes the lead role as Brecht’s buffoonish but ruthless Mother Courage. She’s joined by Bea Webster, making her professional debut as one of the first actors to graduate from the only UK performance degree for d/Deaf performers, at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Pauline McLynn says “Mother Courage is one of the great, iconic roles and to have this opportunity to play her is a particular thrill for me. I am excited to introduce whole new audiences to Brecht, a challenging and brilliant playwright who provokes and enriches us with his work. I am an actor who has always had a leaning for the Left and therefore Red Ladder and myself are a very natural match. I can’t wait to get started on this sprawling delight.”

Tickets for Red Ladder’s 50th production Mother Courage and her Children are on sale through Leeds Playhouse 0113 213 7700.

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