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Bush Theatre announces previews for Monica Dolan’s debut solo play before opening in Edinburgh this summer

The Beasts by Monica Dolan

The Beasts by Monica Dolan. Click on the image to book your tickets.

The Bush Theatre has announced that this summer it will be hosting a run of The B*easts, written and performed by Monica Dolan (W1A, Appropriate Adult, The Witness For The Prosecution). Three previews of the production will take place in Theatre’s recently refurbished Attic on 26 – 28 July, before opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Referencing the modern obsession with putting your own child first against our responsibility as a society towards our children as a whole, this dark tale – written by and starring BAFTA award-winning actress Monica Dolan – explores how far one mum will go to put what her child wants first.

Dolan’s first solo play, a searing ‘What If?’ story, explores the pornification of our culture and the sexualisation of our children. In a society where sexuality and gender are such a huge part of who we are, how we identify, and how we are defined, The B*easts looks at how soon is too soon to strive for perceived sexual ideals. Can the journey to reach that supposed perfection start before we are even consciously aware of the journey we have begun?

The B*easts follows the repercussions of an event which could plausibly present itself and unfold within today’s culture. It invites us to examine our culture from an extreme perspective, taking a circumstance that we see as abhorrent and abnormal and showing how it can germinate in what we have come to regard as normality. As Tessa, the central character says, ‘you only have the choices you can see’. So when, and how, do you start noticing that your moral compass may be being directed by popular culture?

Click here to buy your tickets for The B*easts at the Bush Theatre

“Dolan is about the best actor on TV at the moment” (The Guardian)
“A fantastic actress” (The Daily Telegraph)
“[A] superb performance” (Independent)

Monica Dolan (writer and performer) is a Middlesbrough-born actress who has recently appeared on television as Angela in Mid Morning Matters With Alan Partridge, straight-talking Senior Comms Officer Tracey Pritchard inW1A, Alice More in Wolf Hall, Tess Wall in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, MI5 director Judith in Complicit and Janet McIntyre in The Witness For The Prosecution. Her film credits include MP Angela Northman in Eye In The Sky, Marion in Pride, chain-smoking headmistress Miss Alvaro in The Falling, Angela Ashbourne in Alpha Papa(The Alan Partridge Movie) and Ann Hamilton in The Arbor. Onstage she has appeared as Lisa in The Glory of Living, Megan in Plaques and Tangles, The Artist in Birth of a Nation (all Royal Court), in The Same Deep Water as Me (Donmar Warehouse), and as Lady Macbeth in Max Stafford-Clark’s ground-breaking production of Macbethwith Out of Joint. Monica has worked at the National Theatre and extensively at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she took on the roles of Regan and Masha in Trevor Nunn’s productions of King Lear and The Seagull. Monica’s most notable role was as killer Rosemary West in ITV’s 2011 drama Appropriate Adult, for which she won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress.


26 – 28 July at 7.45pm, Bush Theatre Attic
3-27 August (not 14 August) at 6pm, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
A Monica Dolan and Something for the Weekend production
Written and performed by Monica Dolan
Directed by John Hoggarth
Designed by James Button
Produced by Suzanna Rosenthal for Something for the Weekend
Press are welcome to attend from 4 August, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)

Etcetera Theatre, London
24th July, 8:30pm
25th July, 6:30pm
29th July, 6:30pm


Bush Theatre
From £10 (Attic)

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Phone  020 8743 5050
In person   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
Online  bushtheatre.co.uk

Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
Previews: £6.50
Weekday: £10 (Concessions: £9)
Weekend: £11 (Concessions: £10)

Online www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk
Phone 03333 444 167

Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly), 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JX

Recommended Age


Running time
60 minutes

@Monica Dolan, @SFTWshows, #TheBeasts, @followthecow, @bushtheatre


1-4 June
Presented by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and PBJ Management

15 Jun – 22 Jul
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Lighting Designed by Eliott Griggs
Sound Designed by Elena Peña
Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm

20 Sep – 21 Oct
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Press night: 22 Sep, 7pm
Captioned: 13 Oct, 7.45pm
Audio described: 7 Oct, 2.45pm

18 Oct – 25 Nov
A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 20 Oct, 7pm
Captioned: 3 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described: 11 Nov, 2.30pm