“Who knows but after my honourable burial, I may have a glorious resurrection in following ages” - Margaret Cavendish 1655

Samuel Pepys called her ‘a mad, conceited, ridiculous woman’. Virginia Woolf said her plays were ‘intolerable’. They all called her ‘Mad Madge’. Her name? Margaret Cavendish.

Born 1623. Writer. Playwright. Scientist. Philosopher. Uneducated. Depressed. Duchess of Newcastle.

Margaret’s plays were never performed in her lifetime. To make up for it, we’re giving Madge her own one-woman musical.

This won’t be a dramatised Wikipedia page. This won’t even be a loose biopic. This will be a live resurrection.

Written by Packham & Kealy, in co-creation with Anna Hale

Performed by Anna Hale
Directed by Clare Packham
Musical Direction by Fintan Kealy

Packham & Kealy have written together since 2017. They are currently developing FLITCH, a new musical based upon the Great Dunmow Flitch Trials, which was selected for BEAM2023, co-produced by Musical Theatre Network, Mercury Musical Developments and Oxford Playhouse.’ With collaborator Andy Simpson, they wrote the genre-bending comedy musical ‘Killing Time in Darkminster’, which was a finalist in BYMT’s ‘New Music Theatre Award’, and runner-up for NYMT’s New Musical Theatre Workshop. With Tom Tanner and Mingma Hughes, they wrote ‘89 Nights’, which previewed at The Other Palace, before a month at Edinburgh Fringe 2018.

Anna Hale studied Linguistics at the University of York before training with the National Youth Music Theatre as an actor and director.

She is currently Children's Director on Newsies (Wembley Park Theatre).

Previous credits include: Understudy LV/Sadie in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (UK Tour), Choreographer - DIVA: Live From Hell! (Turbine Theatre), Assistant Director/Captioner - The Rhythmics (Southwark Playhouse), Associate Director/Choreographer - Errol's Garden (UK tour).


This show contains strong language, depictions of pain, references to death and sex references.

Dates and times

This event finished on 27 October 2023.

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