top of page

Anna-Lisa Maree- interview

Three stories are told through monologue as part of a new dark comedy by Anna-Lisa Maree, the writer and director of Women of Pensionable Rage. Starring Judy Buxton as each part, as the characters speak out about their quirky lives, and the emotions brought with them. Before it begins playing next week at the Chiswick Playhouse, I asked the writer a few questions about her show, to perhaps entice you in!


How would you describe Women of Pensionable Rage, and can you tell us a little about what to expect?

You can expect to howl with laughter and be stunned into silence as you witness one wonderful performer (Judy Buxton) portraying three women, Linda, Julie and Miriam who everyone thinks they know but actually have no real idea about how beautifully complex their lives have been, and in some cases continue to be. When the piece premiered at the Hastings Theatre Festival in October 2021 it was likened to Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’. I’ll happily take that comparison, although I can’t speak for Mr. Bennett on that one!

It sounds like a very interesting show, with lots of potential. I'm intrigued to find out about the lives of these women!

For Anna-Lisa, the pandemic has allowed for time to create these characters that are about to show themselves to the world.

What was the writing process like, particularly being during lockdown?

Well in truth two of the characters have been with me for quite some time so it was very much like spending time with ‘old friends’. Blackpool Landlady Julie first appeared in a musical that I co-wrote called ‘Booze, Birds & Blackpool Rock’ and later in my play ‘Blast From The Past’ which Judy Buxton also appeared in, playing Julie. Then there’s 'Hurricane’ Linda from ‘Casting The Villain Aside’ which has had a couple of outings; the last been with a full community choir in Bath! Miriam from number 14, however, is the new addition, and my goodness she’s a treasure! Writing through lockdown was great because I wanted to have a show that was ready to go as soon as it was safe to do so and

that’s exactly what happened!

It sounds like it has all fitted together perfectly, with concepts from past and present combining to make up the piece with these fascinating women. I'm curious about how that community choir came about!

What made you decide to use the concept of one actor playing three separate monologues?

I wanted to provide a showcase whereby one performer can enter the stage wearing a simple black outfit and wig cap and literally transform before the audience’s eyes into three completely different characters. Sometimes people can become type cast and never be considered for roles that they are actually more than capable of portraying given half a chance.

What drew you towards the themes discussed in Women of Pensionable Rage?

There’s certainly a lot of themes running throughout from alcohol and drug dependency to social snobbery, domestic abuse and gaslighting. I think they are all relevant topics that can deeply affect people and many suffer in silence because they are afraid to speak up. I write with honesty, integrity and experience, be it first hand or through the stories others have told me, so whether it’s personal cathartic closure or dramatic license on tales I’ve been told, when mixed together a script magically appears!

Those are important themes, and I think your writing method seems great too!

Do you think these topics are important to present in the arts and why?

Absolutely! The arts have the platform to portray so many different sides of these topics in a multitude of ways. Mine is done with dark humour and a survival mentality, it’s how I’ve had to cope with a lot of the traumas in my own life and with this in mind I’d like to think that there is a very real feel to what I write and an empathy to how I direct. Ultimately if the topics in Women of Pensionable Rage can inspire the audience to be more understanding of their own needs and the needs of others, and to actually ‘normalise’ talking about subjects that people often shy away from then that would be wonderful.

Having that outlook for the outcome of the show is fantastic in itself, and your personal style is something that means perhaps your storytelling will resonate with others when performed on stage.

Why should people come and see the show?

For the final paragraphs and that’s all I’m going to say... no further spoilers!!!

Ah, we all must go and see it then!

And lastly, who inspires you, and why?

There have been and continue to be so many people who inspire me on innumerable levels. I believe that everyone crosses my path for a reason, some to bring love, light and laughter and others to teach me a life lesson in survival- ‘The Great, The Good & The Gaslighters’!


That's a lovely place to end. Thank you to Anna-Lisa for telling us a bit more about your upcoming show, and best of luck with its run- I look forward to seeing it myself!

Women of Pensionable Rage is showing at the Chiswick Playhouse from 25th to 29th January. You can get your tickets here:

{Some grammar is amended for clarity}

Image of Judy Buxton in Women of Pensionable Rage


bottom of page