The Invincibles - New Wolsey Theatre

The Invincibles

Performed from Wed 27 — Sat 30 Sep

A large white title reads 'The Invincibles.' Behind it, the background is split diagonally into two halves of a football pitch, one a lush green grassy pitch and the other mud. A woman in colourful kit on the grass pitch kicks a football towards a grey, black-and-white statue of another woman on the muddy side of the pitch, whose pose mirrors that of the kicker. Further text on the image reads 'The untold story of girls who played for the love of the game, written by Amanda Whittington.'

A true story celebrating the epic success of the women’s game.

The Dagenham Invincibles were the greatest women's football team of World War One and heralded as "The Unbeaten Women Champions of the Country." But in 1919, the factory girls hung up their boots and their triumphs faded into obscurity.

In 2023 their war-cry is heard in the roar of the Lionesses as they embark on their World Cup journey evoking the Invincibles’ joyous spirit. For local teenager Maya, it's the event of the summer as she cheers for England from the family sofa and unearths long-lost footballing secrets.

Written by Amanda Whittington, this world-premiere play is packed with nail-biting excitement, laughter, music, drama and celebration.

A Queen's Theatre Hornchurch production

Running time: 2hrs 10 (including interval)
Suitable for ages 8+ (PG)

Cast & Creatives

Gemma Barnett — Gladys

The headshot of Gemma Barnett.

Gemma Barnett is an actor, writer and poet based in London. She performed at The Park Theatre earlier this year in their production of The Beach House. She toured with Dash Arts in Dido’s Bar and can also be seen in the most recent series of Casualty.

Her poem 'The Front Desk' won the Poetry for Good prize and was featured on BBC Woman’s Hour. She was a winning finalist of BBC Words First in 2021. This year she was the commended performance poet in the Outspoken Prize for Poetry at Southbank Centre. Previous theatre work includes Three Glorious Days (Mercury Theatre); A Hundred Words for Snow (Trafalgar Studios/ Winner of Offie Best Actress); Dr Korczack’s Example (Leeds Playhouse); Lola (Vault festival).

Film includes BRIDGE (BBC commission dir. Tara Aghdashloo); MISS for Gold Mango Productions (Outstanding New Work – Indie Short Fest).

She was selected for the first iteration of the VAULT FIVE collective with her show AGATHA and is currently in post-production with her BBC commissioned debut short film, BRIDGE, that is being produced by Kusini Productions and Nina Georgieff. She is currently in development for her second short film BOXED with Nina Georgieff producing.

Georgia Bruce — Ada

The headshot of Georgia Bruce.

Georgia Bruce is an actor, writer and musician.

Stage credits include: Isabella Heathcliff and Little Linton in Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights (USA Tour); Sally in the original cast of Fisherman’s Friends the Musical; Bill in Wise Children’s Malory Towers; Robin in Robin Hood (The Watermill Theatre); BRUCE: just a pretty face (Edinburgh Fringe), Callisto: a queer epic (Arcola Theatre), Suddenly Last Summer (Oxford Playhouse); The Oxford Revue: Hello You (Edinburgh Fringe).

TV includes Sal in Russell T Davies’ It’s a Sin (Channel 4) and Doctors (BBC). As a writer, their first play Time, Like the Sea was shortlisted for The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2022.

Social media: @georgiafbruce

Simon Darwen — Cholly/Commentator

The headshot of Simon Darwen.

Theatre credits include: Our Country's Good (Out of Joint/Toronto/Tour); Lizzie Siddal (Arcola); The Armour/Hotel Plays (Defibrilator); Flare Path (National Tour); Catch 22 (Northern Stage/Birmingham Rep/National Tour); Virgin (Watford Palace); King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath); Mad About The Boy (Young Vic); Sour Lips (Oval House); The Fifth Column, The Taming of the Shrew, What the Women Did (Southwark Playhouse); Love Love Love (Paines Plough/Drum Theatre /National Tour); Unrestless (Old Vic Tunnels); Accolade (Original Revival Cast) & (Finborough Theatre); Ramshackle Heart (Public Theatre New York); Arse, Shove (Theatre 503); Mad Forest, The Wonder (BAC); The Merchant of Venice, The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC); 1 in 5 (Hampstead Theatre); Fanny & Faggot (Trafalgar Studios); Flamingoes, Nikolina, Bedtime for Bastards (Nabokov).

Television credits include: Call the Midwife; Silent Witness; The Bletchley Circle; The Bill.

Yanexi Enriquez — Maya

The headshot of Yanexi Enriquez.

Yanexi is a London-based actor and dancer, who trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating in 2020.

Yanexi played Cass in Mandala Theatre Company’s tour of Though This be Madness, in co-production with the Roundhouse and Belgrade Theatres, in 2022. She participated in the Globe Theatre’s Monologue Slam with Mawa Theatre Company in 2023, playing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

Alongside numerous short film credits, Yanexi recently starred in My Uncle is not Pablo Escobar at Brixton House Theatre.

Emma Feeney — Sammy/Hannah

The headshot of Emma Feeney.

Emma's stage credits include: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Tempest (Romford Shakespeare Theatre); Hamlet (149 Productions); The Flood (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch); Mummy, What Did You Do?Standing on their ShouldersThe Vagina Monologues (Local Girl Productions/Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch); What Happened This Morning (The Renegades Theatre Company); The CrucibleRomeo and JulietThe Glass Menagerie, The Importance of Being Earnest, Uncle Vanya, Dancing in Lughnasa, The Master Builder (The Workhouse Theatre); The Philadelphia Story (Early Doors Productions); HarveyA Streetcar Named Desire (Kytes Theatre Group); King Lear (Artisans Theatre); A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Blood Brothers (Brentwood Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Blitzed Theatre Group); The Taming of the Shrew (RST Open Air Theatre).

Rebecca Hayes — Trixie

The headshot of Rebecca Hayes.

Rebecca has just finished their run as Mayella in Bartlett Shers' multi-award winning TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in the West End, opposite Matthew Modine.

Having taken the title role in the Welsh BAFTA nominated BEX, Rebecca's screen credits include THE PACT (BBC); THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER (FOX) and series regular Carly in BREGUS (BBC).

Rebecca trained at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Nikita Johal — Maud

The headshot of Nikita Johal.

Nikita trained at Performance Preparation Academy in Musical Theatre.

Credits: Principle Singer in The World Goes 'Round' (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre); Princess Jasmine in Aladdin (The Harlington Centre); Princess Caraboo in Princess Caraboo (Finborough Theatre); Yonah in Children Of Eden (Union Theatre); Wendla in Spring Awakening (Hope Mill Theatre); Laputa in The Snow Queen (The Everyman, Liverpool); Selma Karamy in Broken Wings (Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Other Palace & Beittidine Festival, Lebanon), Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (Watford Palace Theatre); Princess Jasmine in Aladdin (Newbury Corn Exchange); Lily/Ladybird in What The Ladybird Heard (The Palace, West End & UK Tour); Understudy Neera/Bollywood Ensemble in Migrations (Welsh National Opera UK Tour); Asma/Kelly in The Wife Of Willesden (The Kiln & Boston/New York transfer); Princess Katherine/Gower/Costable in Henry V & The Franklyn in The Canterbury Tales (Guildford Shakespeare Company).

Social media (Instagram): @nikitajohal

Eleanor Kane — Nell

The headshot of Eleanor Kane.

Eleanor Kane is an Actor-Musician, Songwriter and Horticulturist from Glasgow.

She gained a BA Hons from Rose Bruford College studying Actor Musicianship.

Theatre credits include: Medium Alison in Fun Home (The Young Vic) A Monster Calls (Rose Theatre Kingston, Bristol Old Vic and The Kennedy Centre Washington DC), Hex (The National Theatre), Just So (The Watermill Theatre), The Duchess (of Malfi) (Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Citizens Theatre Glasgow), High Fidelity (The Turbine Theatre), Billionaire Boy (Nuffield Southampton Theatre).

Steve Simmonds — James/Guy

Steve Simmonds headshot

Theatre includes: Rewind/Record in Alice in Wonderland (Liverpool Playhouse/Plymouth Theatre Royal); James/Mr Burney in The Invincibles (Queen’s Theatre/New Wolsey); Operation Julie (Theatr na nog); George Mole in Adrian Mole (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch); Belinda Bigtop in Goldilocks (New Wolsey Theatre); Samuel Byck in Assassins (Watermill Theatre/Nottingham Playhouse); Grandma in Grandma Saves the Day, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, Guys And Dolls, Aladdin, Never Lost at Home (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich); As You Like It Workshop (National Theatre); The Threepenny Opera (Bolton Octagon); The Lady in the Van (Theatre Royal Bath); The Who's Tommy (New Wolsey Theatre/Ramps on the Moon); Made in Dagenham (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch/New Wolsey Theatre); Return to the Forbidden Planet 25th Anniversary Tour (Forbidden Planet Musicals, directed by Bob Carlton); 20th Century Boy, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (West End/Chichester Festival Theatre); The Buddy Holly Story (Buddy Musical Productions); Aladdin and Cinderella (Stafford Gatehouse); Lend Me a Tenor, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 12th Night, The Servant of Two Masters, Gaslight, Bouncers, It's a Fine Life (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch); The Comedy Of Babi Babbett, Noah Babel's Ark (Rude Mechanicals); Mack and Mabel (West End – Adam Kenwright/Watermill); Pinafore Swing (Watermill/No.1 Tour).

TV includes: Love Soup (BBC) and, prior to training, he played Stitch in Oliver!, directed by Sam Mendes at the London Palladium.

Stephen Bolton — Historical Consultant

Martha Godfrey — Lighting Designer

Rebecca Goh — Assistant Director

James Grieve — Director

Mary Howland — Voice Coach

Lily Jones — Football Coach

Holly Khan — Sound design and Composition

Andrew Linham — Musical Director

Kate Lovell — Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch Creative Lead

Jenkins McShane — Casting

Lucie Pankhurst — Movement Direction

Laura Ann Price — Designer

Amanda Whittington — Writer

Reviews of The Invincibles

What the press say

⭐⭐⭐⭐ - 'packed with light and shade'

The Stage

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