Butterfly Kiss

by Phyllis Nagy

directed by Ruben Sanchez-Garcia

Performed at the

Maskers'Studio Theatre


20th to 25th May 2013

Contains strong language and adult themes.


Lily Ross is in prison for killing her mother. Jackson, her cynical lawyer, endeavours to unravel a troubled past of dysfunctional family characters. What could have possibly led Lily to this unimaginable crime?

This provocative and visually stimulating production explores the mind and memories of a young woman in prison for murder.

The Author

Phyllis Nagy was born in New York. She originally started writing poetry, but was advised to try writing plays. She moved to London in 1992, where her playwriting career began in earnest at the Royal Court Theatre under the artistic direction of Stephen Daldry for whom she served as the Royal Court's writer-in-residence in the mid-1990s. Nagy's plays have mainly been premiered in Britain. They include Weldon Rising, first produced by the Royal Court Theatre in 1992; Butterfly Kiss, first produced at the Almeida in 1994; The Strip, commissioned and first produced by the Royal Court Theatre in 1995; and Disappeared, a joint winner of both the 1992 Mobil International Playwriting Prize and the 1995 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The play went on to win the Writers Guild of Great Britain Best Regional Play award and the Eileen Anderson/Central Television Best Play award.

Nagy's most recent plays are Never Land, which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in January 1998; and The Talented Mr Ripley, adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith which premiered at the Palace Theatre Watford. Her version of Chekov's The Seagull was produced at Chichester Festival Theatre in the summer of 2003. She has been a somewhat controversial figure, particularly in the early part of her career, due mainly to her subject matter and play construction. Her plays examine identity, family relationships and gender issues, with occasional humour and many twists and turns.

Claire Jakeman is playing Lily. This is Claire's first performance with The Maskers and is somewhat a baptism of fire, as her last appearance on a stage was 8 years ago in a college production of Antigone!  In 'Butterfly Kiss' she plays Lily Ross, the confused and troubled young woman, whose life spent with her controlling grandmother, alcoholic mother and thoroughly disinterested father eventually leads her to try and escape through murderous means.
Sarah Russell is playing Jenny. Sarah is usually to be found behind the scenes, doing set dressing, publicity and marketing for the Maskers. She joined the company in 2005 and since then has appeared in productions at The Nuffield Theatre, Mottisfont Abbey, The Maskers' Studio and the Tudor Merchant Hall. Sarah's last role was as Mrs Braddock in The Graduate at The Nuffield in 2012.
Hazel Burrows is playing Sally. To be cast in a play provides not only the job of learning lines but can take you into discovering the history of that time, the fashion of the period, perhaps different cultures. Most of all, you will bond with and trust that group of people during rehearsals. Imagination is so important; just like a child playing ‘house’, we learn to play and discover how to do it together, which brings laughter, tears, fear and is sometimes thought provoking. That’s why I love acting. My last major role was Carlotta in ‘Dear Antoine’ by Jean Anouilh and last summer, a crazy fairy in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Jo Iacovou is playing Martha. Jo Iacovou has been an active Masker both on and off the stage for several years. Her latest performance was as part of the fairy troupe in last year's summer show, and she recently made her directorial debut with "Forward to the Right" at the Totton Drama Festival; a two-hander for which one of her players was awarded 'best actor'. In Butterfly Kiss, Jo plays Martha, Lily's much put-upon lover, and at times the only voice of reason in Lily's life.
Richard Martin is playing Jackson. Richard is grateful to the Butterfly Kiss company for their patience in waiting for him as he went straight from performing in one show to rehearsing another!! He's looking forward to playing a character who is neither drunk nor dead. He joined Maskers a couple of years ago after not acting (on a stage at least) for over 20 years. Since then he has enjoyed being in Ladies' Day, The Graduate and both his parts in Humble Boy, the dead James and the ebullient George. Richard is also active with the Chesil in Winchester.
Ian Wilson is playing Sloan. Ian has been with Maskers since 2007, appearing in a number of productions including Parris in The Crucible and, most memorably, a drunk in We’re All Dead. He is a bit worried about being typecast, as a number of his most recent parts have involved alcohol. He has also directed Chair and Closer and is currently the Maskers' Production Director.
Marcus Kinsella is playing Teddy. Marcus is playing Teddy Roosevelt Hayes, a challenging and controversial cameo role! As soon as I heard that Maskers were to stage this and Ruben was to direct, I wanted to be involved! Luckily, I got this part and I'm with a cast of new and familiar faces. Most importantly, a strong talented cast (don't know how I sneaked in!) will let you into the mad, dysfunctional world of Lily Ross. Butterfly Kiss will, I'm sure, mesmerize you, as it has me!
Marie McDade is playing Christine. Marie McDade is playing Christine, the Countess van Dyne. Since joining Maskers two years ago, Marie has played a demented secretary in Mitchell's Wings, committed suicide in Chair, was a gormless Fairy/Clown in A Midsummer Night's Dream and an alcoholic swinger in We’re All Dead – if this is type-casting she is in serious need of help!
The Director
Ruben Ruben Sanchez-Garcia is undertaking his first director role for the Maskers Theatre Company. His previous on-stage roles for Maskers include a feisty pirate in Treasure Island, and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He feels extremely lucky to have such a talented cast and crew (see below) to put together this very challenging (and equally rewarding) play.
For the Maskers:
Production Manager Ruth Kibble
Stage Manager Robert Osborne
Set Design Ruben Sanchez-Garcia, Pete & Hazel Burrows
Set Building Roger Lockett & team
Set Painting Pete Burrows
Video filming and Production Pete Burrows
Lighting Design & Operation Mike Matthias
Lighting Consultant Clive Weeks
Sound Designer Jamie McCarthy
Incidental Music Earth Monkey (Pete Burrows)
Props Susan Fridd & Ruth Kibble
Marketing Angela Stansbridge & team
Make-up Samar Fageiry
Costumes Sheana Carrington
Assistant PM Sue Dashper
Assistant to the Director Kate Grundy
Photography Clive Weeks


The Review

"In Phyllis Nagy's New York drama Lily Ross (Claire Jakeman, in her Maskers debut) murders her mother. Her motives can never be fully explained, but we get to know her complex, threatening world, where domestic murder seems part of the landscape and which she inhabits with her alcoholic mother and grandmother (Sarah Russel and Hazel Burrows both excellent, especially the former's touching singing and the latter's mad energy) absent lepidopterist father (Ian Wilson), his mistress (Marie McDade contributes a lovely comic cameo), a man she met when she was 14 (Marcus Kinsella) and, now that she and others must investigate her life, the attorney Jackson Trouver (Richard Martin).
Director Ruben Sanchez-Garcia deserves praise for his ambitious choice of this haunting drama. His staging achieves several powerful effects, enhanced by a skilful cast and Pete Burrows' music and video sequences.
Go, and be challenged, enthralled, stimulated and moved."

HAM QUENTIN - The Southern Evening Echo


click on a photo to enlarge it


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