The Barn Theatre Club presents

Sydney & the Old Girl By Eugene O’Hare at the Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Herts

Sydney & the Old Girl

By Eugene O’Hare
Directed by Belinda Gee
16th – 19th February 2022 at 8:00pm

A mother and son at war with each other - with neither prepared to lose a single battle.

A World Amateur Premier!

Taut psychological drama…

The Times

This 'world-premier' amateur production is presented by arrangement with Curtis Brown/Methuen

Wheelchair-bound Nell spends her days in a dingy flat in east London. Grubby, tattered and uncomfortable are just a few words that apply to both Nell and her home. From her opening salvo Nell revels in her vicious comments about her son’s ineptitude. The two trade insults that are darkly funny: she claims “They should put my name in that book. That Guinness Book of Records. The longest dose of post-natal depression known to man”.

Though Sydney might be referring to his mother’s television when he comments “You don’t treat things proper they get broke.”, the comment is as applicable to his own psyche. With Sydney, any object he picks up feels as if it could be used as a weapon and the contents of his closely guarded large red bag are a mystery. He is a man shattered by hatred and left to spend a miserable life alone, picking up the pieces.

After 50 years cooped up in the same shabby flat, Nell and Sydney are at war. Points scored in never-ending arguments bind the pair together. As the twisted game between mother and son reaches breaking point, Irish care worker Marion Fee finds herself an unwitting pawn, played from both sides. Nell will stop at nothing for her bitter triumph over Sydney – but he has his own plans on how to end this once and for all.

And then, there’s the not-so-simple matter of the inheritance…

Sydney and the Old Girl premiered at the Park Theatre in 2019 where it sold out (not even standing room) and received nightly standing ovations. Belinda Gee, who was at one of those performances, recalls being on the edge of her seat throughout and leaving with the clear thought that she wanted to direct the play as soon as it was available for the amateur stage.

She is exceedingly delighted that the performance in the Barn Studio will be its amateur world premiere!

Part of the Barn’s 2021-2022 Season.


Directed by
Belinda Gee


Nell Stock
Sydney Stock
Marion Fee


Production Manager
Stage Manager
Set Dressing
Rehearsal Prompt
Poster Design

Special thanks to Christina Schäfe for the wonderful poster image.


Taut psychological drama…

The Times

O’Hare is ‘a fearless new playwright with a singular voice’


Hilarious yet painful’

London Theatre

An exceptional piece of theatre’

Sardines Magazine

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