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Sydney & the Old Girl

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

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

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 to have had the “longest dose of post-natal depression, that’s worthy of being recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records”.

Though Sydney might be referring to his mother’s television when he comments “If you don’t treat things right, 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.


You do not have to be a Barn member to audition for this production!

We always look forward to welcoming new members and you only need to become a member once you get cast in the production or join the Creative Team. Thank you for helping to keep the Barn a vibrant, exciting and creative place!

Audition dates, times and venues

Tuesday 2nd November at 8:00 pm in the Studio
Thursday 4th November at 8:00 pm in the Studio
Sunday 7th November at 11:00 am in the Studio


Playing age 70 -80.  Nell is an elderly lady largely confined to her wheelchair, who lives in a cramped east end flat.  She is grumpy and malevolent and doesn’t hold back when insulting her son, who she needs to help look after her.


Playing age 50-60.  A middle-aged socially mal-adjusted loner.  He grudgingly lives with his Mum in a relationship full of loathing with an undercurrent of violence.


Playing age 40-60.  Marion is an Irish part-time care nurse, visiting regularly to care for Nell.  She is a breath of fresh air in the dingy flat bringing some warmth to the play.


I will endeavour to separately audition anyone that cannot make those dates.

Scripts available from Belinda Gee – [email protected] or 07768 373866

Or come along to see A Bunch of Amateurs and have a chat with me after the show.

Audition dates, times and venues

Tuesday 2nd November at 8:00 pm in the Studio
Thursday 4th November at 8:00 pm in the Studio
Sunday 7th November at 11:00 am in the Studio


Directed by
Belinda Gee


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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