The Steamie: Louise McCarthy

⦁ Louise McCarthy and Gayle Telfer Stevens, Scotland’s favourite cleaners aka The Dolls, play Magrit and Dolly in the legendary Scottish play revamped for a limited Hogmanay run at SSE Hydro.
⦁ Fiona Wood and Mary McCusker reprise their roles of Doreen and Mrs Culfeathers.
⦁ Still Game and Taggart’s Harry Ward joins the cast as Andy.
⦁ Extra show now on sale on ⦁ SSE Hydro website! Matinee performance on 28th added.

A starry cast is today announced for Scotland’s best loved play, The Steamie. The revamped show – with more songs, more music and more laughs – will see The Dolls, Louise McCarthy and Gayle Telfer Stevens, marking their Steamie debut and playing the feisty Magrit and gullible Dolly respectively. Fiona Wood returns to the show for the third time to portrait the young, full of hope Doreen whilst Mary McCusker reprises the poignant role of Mrs Culfeathers. Harry Ward joins the cast as the lovable drunk handyman Andy.



FRIDAY 27 DECEMBER 2019 – 7.30pm
SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER 2019 – 2.30pm & 7.30pm
SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER 2019 – 6.00pm
MONDAY 30 DECEMBER 2019 – 7.30pm
TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER 2019 – 1.00pm

Tickets on sale now on:
Box office: 0844 395 4000
Louise McCarthy – Magrit
Gayle Telfer Stevens – Dolly
Fiona Wood – Doreen
Mary McCusker – Mrs Culfeathers
Harry Ward – Andy

Written and directed by Tony Roper
Songs by David Anderson


Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions: I believe that it was the Steamie that inspired you to become actors. What was it about the show that gave you this ambition?


Louise McCarthy

The Steamie has such amazing characters that are so recognisable in your own family that you can’t help but know a Magrit or a Dolly. They are so relatable and have such colour and warmth that you can’t help but fall in love with them. They also have a great outlook that even though times are hard for them they still know how to have a laugh at themselves. There is also a great sense of community in the show that I think we now wish we had in our own lives today and so it’s lovely to watch the camaraderie between them. As an actress you want to play interesting characters and have killer lines and a good story to play with.

The Steamie has all this. It’s also legendary in its own right so to be even a small part of that Scottish legacy is a dream come true. To think of all the people that played it before and probably after you, just feels so special that we will now also be of that history.

I think it is a bit obvious to ask why you are doing the Steamie now, but coming to performing it – has there been any parts of the script or production that have surprised you this time?

What’s so exciting about this venture of The Steamie is that it’s on a larger scale and has lots of surprises in store for the audience. The set is beyond brilliant. Kenny Miller the designer has done an amazing job on it and it’s going to really take people back to that nostalgic era. It’s also being done on the actual night it’s set, so to be doing it on Hogmanay will add that extra bit of excitement and magic to the production.


The script has always been brilliant so there’s no need ever to add anything to that. It’s worked for 30 years so if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Also with it being at the hydro people get the best of both worlds they get to see it live and on the screen so it’s like the telly version and the stage version all in one. Audiences get the best of both worlds.

What are the differences between being in a Dolls show and a more traditionally scripted piece of theatre? Actually, it might be better if I asked about the similarities…

The only similarities really is that both sets of characters are based on real people with real stories and real struggles. They also both use humour as a form escape from their own problems and struggles. They are out spoken woman who do everything for their families. Family is everything to them. The Dolls are definitely a bit more risqué but they still have lots of heart and relatability. There is an honesty to them that I think is also apparent in Dolly and Magrit.

Why do you think the Steamie retains its popularity and freshness today, especially when the culture it depicts has mostly disappeared?

I think we ultimately still recognise these characters in our own lives today. These woman still exist as do their struggles and challenges. We aren’t that much different. As mammies we still worry about providing for our weans, we still try to be the home maker and now we are actually trying to be superwoman as we also attempt to sustain careers alongside it. Not to say that all the woman then didn’t have careers but it was much more typical that the men went out to work and the woman stayed at home. Now we strive to do both.

Granted they had much harder circumstances but us woman haven’t evolved too much we are still attempting to do it all and it’s still all for our wee families. The pressures of society are also still present. In a way we have gone backwards with the introduction of food banks and austerity gripping our nation. There is people out there really really struggling and because we have since lost a sense of community people are also now alone in it, which makes it even tougher and sadder. We must try and keep an eye out for those struggling and try and restore that neighbourly charm because things can almost feel a bit easier “when you’ve got pals”.

Cast and creatives biographies

Tony Roper / writer & director
Born and raised in the Anderston district of Glasgow. Tony‘s first job at the age of fifteen was with the NCB at Bowhill Colliery Fife. While he was there he stayed in Cardenden, a three mile walk from the colliery. However he couldn’t afford the constant replacing of the soles of his boots and returned to Glasgow where he was employed in the Clyde side ship repairing industry, and thereafter anywhere that would give him a weekly wage. After attending the Glasgow College of drama as a mature student he began acting and continued with the same philosophy of going anywhere that would keep him employed. This led to him playing roles in everything from Chekhov and Shakespeare, to Agatha Christie and Pantomime.
Television includes various plays, and many comedy series but he is probably better known for Scotch and Wry, Naked Video, Only an Excuse, and Jamesie Cotter in Rab C Nesbit.
He has written four sell out plays. The Steamie, Paddies Market for the Glasgow year of culture, Rikki and Me a tribute to the life and times of Rikki Fulton and his wife Kate. He played the role of Rikki Fulton to critical acclaim in two separate tours. The Steamie won him a Scottish BAFTA award for best play and best writer and was voted runner up in STV’ s most popular programme ever. He also wrote “The Celts in Seville” a play about a Celtic family and their experiences the year that Celtic FC reached the UEFA cup final. It was commissioned by Celtic FC and played at the Pavilion Theatre Glasgow to large audiences throughout August and September 2008. He has also written two best selling novels about Rikki Fulton’s wonderful character The Reverend I.M Jolly. The first entitled. “How I Found God And Why He Was Hiding From Me.” and the second, One Deity At A Time Sweet Jesus. His third novel based on his first play and titled The Steamie A Novel also attained best seller status. In 2015 his autobiography “I’ll no tell you again was released. In pantomimes he has played the full gamut from King Rat to Ugly Sister in theatres all over Scotland as well as writing them. Tony has directed straight drama at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Dundee Rep, Borderline and his own productions of “The Steamie” which haveplayed all the major Theatres in Scotland. He was awarded an honorary DhLit by the University of Abertay and A Lifetime Achievement Award by the readers of the Sunday Mail.

Tony Last played an Ugly sister in The 2016-17 Kings pantomime Cinderella teaming up with his young friend and hero Gregor Fisher who he insists needed no makeup for the part. Tony at the tender age of 76 did he admits need a smidgeon.
He has been delighted to direct this version of The Steamie for The Hydro and sincerely hopes the audiences enjoy this new treatment written to use the Hydros space as fully as it deserves.


Written and directed by Tony Roper with songs by David Anderson, this Hogmanay the show takes over Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, the largest entertainment venue in Scotland. Due to popular demand, an extra show on 28th December has been added to this special, limited run.

The Steamie is a Scottish theatre classic; an ode to the hard-working women of the 1950’s and to a bygone Glasgow. The young Doreen envisions a new future, while Mrs Culfeathers looks back to the past – the play is a snapshot of a society, of a time and a cross section of strong women, all rolled up in Roper’s hilarious comedy. As The Scotsman said in 2017, it is a “superb, funny and perfectly-observed play.”

This is the fourth time Neil Laidlaw has produced a tour of The Steamie, first in 2009, the 25th anniversary tour in 2012, the 30th anniversary tour in 2017 and now the revamped, steamier than ever special run at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.

Neil Laidlaw said: “The Steamie is one of Scotland’s best-loved plays and I am extremely proud to be able to bring it back for another generation to enjoy, this time with new songs and a bigger cast and set.”

“We have brought together a fantastic cast: the inimitable Dolls – Louise McCarthy and Gayle Telfer Stevens who I know decided to be actors because of The Steamie – and Harry Ward are our newbies with the wonderful Fiona Wood and Mary McCusker reprising their roles of Doreen and Mrs Culfeathers. I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room to witness another cast making this legendary play their own.”

Tony Roper said: “In my late forties I sat down with a biro and a jotter and wrote my first ever play. Over three decades later, the play is still getting the laughs and the cries, connecting with another generation of Scots. The Steamie is the nation’s favourite night out and I cannot wait to bring the show – with more music and a spectacular cast – to the country’s biggest entertainment venue, SSE Hydro.”

Recent television and films include The Magoons / River City. On a Clear Day / Decoy Bride
He has also written pantos for The Tron Theatre and wrote and directed Motherwell Civic Theatre’s production “Weans In The Woods.” The same production also played at the Carnegie Theatre Dunfermline under his direction.
Tony has also directed straight drama at Borderline Theatre Irvine, Pitlochry Theatre Perthshire, Dundee Repertory Theatre. And his own production of The Steamie which toured Scotland.

He has recently been awarded an honorary degree as doctor of literature by the University of Abertay Dundee. In 2010 he was presented with A Lifetime Achievement Award by The Sunday Mail.

Louise McCarthy / Magrit
Louise is originally from Maryhill in Glasgow. After finishing high school she went straight on to train as an actress at The Arts Educational School, London. After graduating Louise went on to play one of the principal roles “Lisa” in Mamma Mia in London’s West End (Prince of Wales Theatre London).
Other theatre work includes: Yer Granny, Men Should Weep, My Left/Right Foot The Musical (National Theatre Scotland);Cutting A Rug (Citizens Theatre), for which she was nominated as best actress at the 2017 CATS AWARDS; Much Ado About Nothing (Bard In the Botanics); Three Sisters, Peter Panto and the Incredible Stinkerbell, Sleeping Betty, Snaw Queen (Tron Theatre); The Trouble with Double, Role Shift (Oran Mor); Jaqueranda, Sleeping Beauty (Perth Theatre); Bingo The Musical (Stellar Quines); Jack & The Beanstalk (Armadillo For Qudos); The DOLLS Abroad & The DOLLS Dragged Up (U.K and Scottish Tour).

Louise and her comedy partner Gayle both co/wrote and starred in The DOLLS Abroad & Dragged Up, which recently won ENTS24 #1 rising comedy show in the U.K. The girls where also nominated for Best Double Act at the Great British Panto Awards after their performance in the Qudos Productions of Jack & The Beanstalk at the Armadillo Glasgow.

Television Credits include: Stacey Stone, Raptures (CBBC); Sketchland, What’s Funny About the Indyref (BBC Scotland); Scot Squad, Only An Excuse (BBC Comedy Unit); Two Doors Down (BBC); In Plain Sight (ITV Drama); and Aldi Midget’s Advert (ITV).

Louise also features as Amanda in the newly released film “Wild Rose” (Three Chords Productions) alongside Julie Walters, Jessie Buckley and directed by Tom Harper. Louise also just recently finished filming some new spin off shorts alongside her Scot Squad partner Julie W Nimmo for the BBC Scotland channel. These spin offs mark the first televised all female comedy show in Scotland.

Gayle Telfer Stevens / Dolly
Gayle currently appears as Caitlin McLean in BBC Scotland’s ‘River City’ and can also be seen as recurring character ‘Jamie Leigh’ in the BBC’s Scottish BAFTA winning ‘Scot Squad’.

Gayle is one half of hit comedy duo The Dolls – writing and producing the smash hit shows The Dolls Abroad and The Dolls Dragged Up selling out theatres all over Scotland.

Gayle is a graduate of Uta Hagen’s Technique in Acting & Teaching at HB Studio, New York and of Mountview Academy of Performing Arts in London.

Theatre credits include:
The Lying Kind, (Tron Theatre) South Cumburgh Green. Hansel & Gretel, (Carnagie Hall).  Cinderella (Adam Smith Theatre). Song, Sip and a Sandwich (Tron Theatre). Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Tron Theatre), Sondheims Putting it Together, (Edinburgh Festival).  Pinocchio & Sleeping Beauty (Perth Theatre). Peggy, Swallows and Amazons (National Theatre Studio) W/ Socialworker, 365, (National Theatre of Scotland) Judy, The Incredible Adventures of Adam Spark, (National Theatre of Scotland) Gillian, Earl Of Mo’bay, (NottinghamPlayhouse), Jerry Springer The Opera (National Theatre and West End, London)

TV credits:
Scots Squad Christmas Special, Whats funny about the indy ref’ (BBC) Sketchland (BBC) Scrotal Recall (Channel 4) Crash (BBC) Waterloo Road (BBC) Gypsy Annmarie in Gary Tank Commander (BBC), Senga in Irn Bru’s gets you thru campaign, Jamie-Lee McGurk in Scots Squad (BBC), Desperado’s (CBBC), Wendy Boatcumin’ in Dr Who (BBC), Casualty (BBC) and STV’s Bingomood commercial (STV)

Film: Sunshine on Leith as ‘Francine’
Awards: Laurence Olivier for Best Supporting Role in a Musical 2004.
Fiona Wood / Doreen
Fiona Wood is delighted to be reprising the role of Doreen in The Steamie. Recent Theatre Credits include: The Crucible, Blonde Bombshells, Heritage, Chicago, Quality Street, Before The Party and The Last Witch, (Pitlochry Festival Theatre) Glory On Earth, The Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum Theatre) The James Plays (NTS) Gabriel’s Gig (Drake Music) The Steamie (Neil Laidlaw) CANNIBAL Women Of Mars, Ya Beauty And The Beast, Flo White (Tron)
TV credits include: Only An Excuse (BBC Scotland) Sketchland (BBC) Hospital 24/7 (Sky) Scot Squad (BBC Comedy Unit) Rab C Nesbitt (Comedy Unit) and Short Films Room 9 and Home (RCS).

Mary McCusker / Mrs Culfeathers
Mary McCusker is delighted to put on a pinnie and play Mrs Culfeathers again; this time at the Glasgow Hydro. Born in Glasgow just round the corner from the well-loved Citizens Theatre, she has memories of going to the local steamie with her mother. After graduating from the RSAMD her career began with seasons at the Edinburgh Lyceum, Glasgow Citizens and Liverpool Everyman. She has played leading roles in contemporary and classical drama, ranging from Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa at the Garrick Theatre to Lady Macbeth and the title role in Schillers Mary Stuart. Mary was a founder member of Monstrous Regiment Theatre Company and appeared in new plays written for them by such as by Caryl Churchhill, Bryony Lavery and David Edgar.

In more recent years Mary has played Emer in Heritage (Traverse Theatre) Grandma in Yikes (Unicorn London) Mrs Mac in The People Next Door (Traverse Theatre-European Tour/East 59 Theatre New York, Pru in The House of Barnalda Alba (National Theatre of Scotland, Father Laurence (Queen Lear Assembly Roxy), Mrs Culfeathers in The Steamie (2017).

Other work includes the film What Happens After Dark. The feature film Connect, Still Game on BBC and a short film Unsaid Those with sharp eyes might catch a sight of her in the ad “Go Places With Pork” but Galloways mince is still her favourite dish. She’s looking forward to sharing cleaning and cooking tips with the audience at Hogmanay.

Harry Ward / Andy
Harry Ward is an Actor/Musician from Glasgow and has been working in theatre throughout Britain over the last 20 years. His most recent work includes: What Girls Are Made Of (Raw Material/Traverse Theatre), The Dark Carnival (Vanishing Point), Janis Joplin: Full Tilt (Raw Material/Regular Music), Celtic: The Musical (Alterean Productions), Rhinoceros (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh), Rocket Post (National Theatre of Scotland), Music is Torture (Tron Theatre/Tromolo Productions), Dick McWhitington (Perth Theatre), Para Handy (Pitlochry Festival Theatre).

TV Credits include: Trust Me 2, Still Game, Waterloo Road (BBC), High Times (STV), Taggart (STV).

Scotland’s best-loved play is back this Hogmanay for a limited run, bigger and steamier than ever! Written and directed by Tony Roper with songs by David Anderson, the show takes over Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, the largest entertainment venue in Scotland. The revamped show – with more songs, more music and more laughs – will see The Dolls, Louise McCarthy and Gayle Telfer Stevens, marking their Steamie debut and portraying the feisty Magrit and gullible Dolly respectively. Fiona Wood returns to the show for the third time to portrait the young, full of hope Doreen whilst Mary McCusker reprises the poignant role of Mrs Culfeathers. Harry Ward joins the cast as the lovable drunk handyman Andy.

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