Newport Playgoers’ latest production is about a malevolent mother bringing together her three sons, who work in the family construction business, to help her celebrate her wedding anniversary – despite the fact her husband has been dead for 10 years.

The Anniversary is a comedy of family power-play set in South London in 1966. One-eyed Mrs Taggart is an emasculating woman who dominates her three sons. The eldest, Henry, is a transvestite; middle son, Terry, is planning to emigrate to Canada with his shrewish wife, Karen; and the youngest, Tom, a promiscuous philanderer whose many past relationships have ended at his mother’s insistence, arrives with his pregnant girlfriend, Shirley.

Throughout the ‘celebration’ the evil, manipulative matriarch does everything in her power to remind her children who controls the family finances and ultimately their future. This stage version is based on a celebrated film which starred Bette Davis as the mother from hell.

The Anniversary is at the Dolman Theatre from Tuesday, February 9 to Friday, February 12 at 7.15 pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday 13 at 2.30pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit

Pictured rehearsing The Anniversary are Rose Bissex as Mrs Taggart; Luke Bowkett as Tom; Emma Williams as Shirley; Paul Cotton as Henry; Stuart Fouweather as Terry; and Angharad Jones as Karen.

Pictures: Phil Mansell