Crimes Of The Heart - written by Beth Henley

26th February to 3rd March 2013 at The Nuffield Theatre

Touching, sassy and consistently hilarious, Crimes Of The Heart examines the plight of the dysfunctional Magrath sisters from Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Lenny, the eldest, has just turned thirty and is still unmarried; Meg is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while the youngest, Babe, is out on bail having shot her husband... because she didn't like his looks!
They're a crazy bunch who will make you laugh one moment and shed a tear the next in this gem of a Pulitzer Prize winning play.

Doc Porter, played by Steve Cosier, is married with two small kids but still carries a torch for his first love, Meg Mcgrath. He loves pecans, hates hurricanes and is rather careless with horses.
Barnett Lloyd, played by James Norton, is the talented young lawyer who hopes to save Babe Mcgrath from jail. He hates corruption, loves pound cake and has a vendetta against Babe's husband.
Chick 'the stick' Boyle, played by Ruth Kibble, is the sisters’ busybody cousin. She loves her standing in the community, hates scandal and has a son who eats paint.
Zan Lawther plays the eldest of the Mcgrath sisters, Lenny, who loves blowing out candles and making wishes, hates turning 30 and has a shrunken ovary.
Meg, played by Rachael Courage, loves Bourbon, hates her father and recently spent a 'vacation' in an asylum.
Then there's the youngest sister Babe, played by Joanna Russel. Babe loves lemonade, hates her husband and wants to know why mama hanged the cat alongside her?!

crimes of the heart
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Directors Notes

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Reviews and Accolades
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The Set

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Sarah-Jayne Wareham has been a Maskers regular for the last few years, playing a variety of roles from a psychotic epileptic to a parrot! More recently she swapped the pop socks of Mercy Lott in Humble Boy for the stockings of Mrs Robinson in The Graduate! Although she has previously directed in London, this is her first outing as a director for Maskers. And she is loving every minute of it!


Susannah Lawther played the cosmetically challenged Lenny McGrath, the oldest of the Magrath sisters.
Susannah was born into the Maskers and has enjoyed many varied roles including Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice and Marguerite Blakeney in the Scarlet Pimpernel. Most recently Susannah played Helena in the Maskers' summer production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.


Rachael Courage played Meg McGrath. Rachael's last role was as Titania, Queen of the Fairies where in spite of being in command of the seasons, seemed to have no control over the torrential rain during this outdoor show. In 'Crimes of the Heart' she plays Meg McGrath, the middle sister, who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, and has certainly had her fair share of men! Love affairs come and go but for Meg, there's something a bit different about the one that got away, Doc Porter...


Joanna Russel played Babe McGrath. Joanna has been a member of Maskers for 5 years and has enjoyed playing a range of characters. Due to her short stature she often gets cast as children and teenagers, although this could be down to her youthful looks (ed. Unlikely!!) She is pleased to be playing Babe who is nearly as 'kooky' as Joanna herself!!!


Ruth Kibble played Cousin Chick. Being a fairly tall lady, Ruth is no stranger to "costume dramas"! In a previous theatrical incarnation playing a tropicana dancer, she took out the legs of a fellow performer with the weight of her swinging banana skirt. Playing Chick "the Stick" Boyle sees Ruth get her teeth into a great comedy role, and with any luck, her legs into a pair of extra-petite pantyhose without flashing her pants.


Steve Cosier played Doc Porter, the ex-boyfriend of Meg, whose injury during a violent storm crushed not only his body but their love. Steve is a regular actor and director with Maskers, having directed The Graduate at the Nuffield last year, and starred as John Protector (The Crucible) on stage here two years ago.


James Norton played Barnette Lloyd, the handsome lawyer. James has previously been designing Spitfires as R.J. Mitchell in “Mitchell’s Wings”. As well as regressing mentally for the part of Billy in Edward Bond’s “Chair”. In October 2012, he made his directorial debut, directing 2 short ghost stories for our studio Halloween shows

Production Manager :
Kathryn Salmon
Stage Manager :
Kathryn Salmon
Assistant Stage Manager :
Zoe Salanitro
Set Design :
Peter Liddiard
Set Building & Painting :
Graham Buchanan, Geoff Cook, Ken Hann, Pete Hill,
  Peter Liddiard, Roger Lockett, Jez Minns,
  Steve Russell, Ken Spencer, Norman Wareham
Lighting Designer :
Clive Weeks
Lighting Operation :
Ian Wilson
Sound Design & Effects :
Jamie McCarthy, Geoff Grandy
Sound Operator :
Mike Matthias
Costumes :
Sarah-Jayne Wareham, Joanna Russel
Costume Assistant :
Susan Wilson
Set Dressing :
Sarah Russell
Properties :
Ella Lockett, Gill Buchanan, Alison Tebbutt
Marketing & Publicity :
Sarah Russell & team
Poster/Flyer Design :
Catchy Monkey
Programme :
Jo Welch
Photography :
Clive Weeks
Front of House :
Geoff & Pam Cook
Front of House Display :
Angela Stansbridge