Cast announced for Citizens Theatre’s Moonset, premiering February 2023

The Citizens Theatre has announced the cast for Moonset, the company’s first production of 2023.

A bold and powerful new work from playwright Maryam Hamidi, Moonset will premiere at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre from 03 – 11 February (Press performance Tue 07 Feb, 7.30pm) before touring to Edinburgh for a short run at the Traverse Theatre from 16 – 18 February.

Living on a housing estate on the outskirts of Paisley, and lost somewhere between the bonfire of girlhood and the sharp edge of womanhood, fifteen-year old Roxy gathers her friends Gina, Bushra, and Joanne to begin meddling in witchcraft in the hunt for answers.

But shadows are lurking, ready to swallow those she loves most in the world… And as friendships fray, fire crackles and blood bubbles, the group unravel the bonds that unite and the secrets that surround them.

Moonset is a blazing, coming-of-age tale filled with love, rage and self-discovery, as these young women search for the power they were promised. A bold piece of new writing with the voices of five strong, diverse, powerful women at its heart, Moonset addresses challenging and relevant themes with skill, humour and empathy.

The play will be brought to life by an exciting young ensemble cast including Layla Kirk, who appeared on TV screens in hit ITV crime series Karen Pirie earlier this year, in the role of Roxy.

Cindy Awor, currently starring in the Citizens Theatre’s family festive show Red Riding Hood and one of the company’s 2022 Graduate Actors, will play Bushra, while Leah Byrne (recently of Cinderella at Dundee Rep Theatre and Scent of the Roses at the Royal Lyceum Theatre) and Hannah Visocchi (Vanishing Point’s Metamorphosis and National Theatre’s Peter Gynt) will play Gina and Joanne. Zahra Browne (As You Like It and Henry V with the British Shakespeare Company) will star as Roxy’s mother Shideh.

Writer Maryam Hamidi is quickly becoming one of Scotland’s most exciting writing talents. As well as winning the Playwright’s Studio New Playwright’s Award for Moonset, she has written extensively for stage, radio, and screen, including TV shows such as Hollyoaks and CBeebies’ Molly & Mack, radio dramas for BBC Radio 4 and Radio Scotland, and stage work for Play, Pie, and a Pint and Pitlochry Festival Theatre. She is also a celebrated actress, well known for her role as Leyla Brodie on River City as well as stage work with some of Scotland’s leading theatre companies, including Vox Motus (Flight), National Theatre of Scotland (Oedipus The King), and the Citizens Theatre (Nora: A Dolls House).

Joanna Bowman is a Creative Associate with Vanishing Point, directing their 2022 show The Metamorphosis: Unplugged. She was also recently appointed Associate Director at the Tron Theatre, and was a finalist for the 2022 JMK Award. The Moonset creative team also includes leading theatre-makers Jen McGinley (Design), Simon Hayes (Lighting Design), Nik Paget-Tomlinson (Sound Design), Vicki Manderson (Movement), and Eleanor Felton (Assistant Director).

Writer Maryam Hamidi said: “I'm beyond excited to be making this with Joanna and our amazing cast and creatives at the Citz. Moonset is my attempt to explore that bone-cracking transition into womanhood and the shifting ground of relationships between mothers and daughters and teachers and friends at that precipice. I wanted to capture the messiness, rage, hope and hunger we feel at that age as well as the ache we have as older women looking back. Roxy, Bushra, Joanne and Gina are all living complex, challenging lives and I think that says something of us as school-age young adults - our inner worlds and outer selves are in conflict and you never quite know what the kid at the desk next to you is going through. I hope Moonset reminds us as women, young and not so young anymore, to feel all that we’re feeling and trust the rage we’re so often taught to minimise”

Director Joanna Bowman said: “Moonset is wildly theatrical and wonderfully exciting. It is a play which demands to be staged and demands to be seen. Maryam has written a play that takes young women and their lives seriously, and I am thrilled to be working with this wonderful company and the Citz to put this story and these characters on stage.”

The company’s first production of 2023, Moonset marks the Citizens Theatre’s ongoing commitment to the support and development of new writing, producing exciting work across Scotland’s stages while redevelopment work continues on the company’s home in the heart of the Gorbals.

-ENDS-

For more information, interviews, images and to request tickets please contact:

Joseph Crerar-Blythe, The Corner Shop PR E: joseph@thecornershoppr.com, M: 07500 258 404

For Citizens Theatre company enquiries, please contact: Louise Dingwall, Press and Marketing Officer: louisedingwall@citz.co.uk (Mon – Wed) Alison Lewis, Marketing Manager: alison.lewis@citz.co.uk

Production info

Moonset – a Citizens Theatre production

Cast: Cindy Awor (Bushra), Zahra Browne (Shideh), Leah Byrne (Gina), Layla Kirk (Roxy), Hannah Visocchi (Joanne)

Creative team:

Director - Joanna Bowman

Writer - Maryam Hamidi

Designer - Jen McGinley

Lighting Design - Simon Hayes

Composer / Sound Designer - Nik Paget-Tomlinson

Movement Director - Vicki Manderson

Assistant Director Eleanor Felton

Listings

Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HB

Dates: 03 – 11 February

Press performance: 7.30pm, Tuesday 07 February

Tickets: Previews £10, Full price £14.50 - £19, Gorbals Card £5 (Limited and not available on previews), Schools £10 (Book 11, get 1 of those free for groups, including schools) Box office: www.tron.co.uk/shows/moonset

Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED

Dates: 16 – 18 February

Tickets: Full price £15, Standard Concession £12, Under 30s & Students £10, Other Concessions £5 Box office: www.traverse.co.uk

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