Liverpool-based Hollyoaks writer Jonathan Larkin’s new play Cherry Jezebel is set in the city’s LGBTQIA community – and an open casting call has ensured representation from non-binary, trans and cis male actors.
The cast includes Mickey Jones as drag queen Cherry Brandy, Mariah Louca as her best friend Heidi Handjob, Stefan Race as new non-binary queen-on-the-scene Pearl Reckless and George Jones as lad about town Mo, in a story about growing up and growing old in Liverpool’s drag world.
Larkin, a graduate of the Everyman/Playhouse’s successful writing programmes, is currently writing for Hollyoaks. The production, directed by James Baker, is frank about why many queer people still fear for their safety in the city. There were three sold-out rehearsed readings in 2021, ahead of its forthcoming debut at the Everyman from March 8-26.
After a lifetime of abuse at the hands of family and bad boyfriends, legendary drag queen Cherry Brandy is left terrified of being alone. When she finds out her best friend Heidi has fallen in love and is finally embracing her identity as a trans woman, she is terrified she is no longer needed. Then non-binary queen on the scene, Pearl, crashes into Cherry’s life...
As Cherry, Mickey Jones returns to the Everyman after appearing in Our Lady of Blundellsands. A member of the Everyman Youth Theatre for many years, he graduated to Radio 4 plays and theatre tours and has appeared on TV in Brookside, Family Affairs, Lovejoy and The Bill. For most of his career, he has been a director of short films and is a regular director on Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.
Larkin, said: “I started writing Cherry Jezebel about four years ago and it has evolved from a celebration of older queer voices to a piece about trauma, family and the lengths outsiders will go to to find a safe space in a violent straight white world.
“It started out as a collection of nostalgic stories rooted in the past but now has both its high heels planted in the Liverpool of today.
“Hopefully people who might not necessarily be LGBTQIA will see Cherry Jezebel and go ‘Oh yes I understand that, I’ve been in her/his/their shoes.’”
More info and tickets here