Author Martina Cole in Stratford for 20th anniversary of Dangerous Lady

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 September 2012

Author Martina Cole at the Theatre Royal, Stratford,

Author Martina Cole at the Theatre Royal, Stratford,


Within months of the death of her parents, Martina Cole began work on her first book Dangerous Lady. It was a decade in the writing.

Author Martina Cole at the Theatre Royal, Stratford,

Martina Cole, with Kerry Michael.Author Martina Cole at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, Martina Cole, with Kerry Michael.

Now, 20 years after the book was published, she will see it performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East, a venue which has already successfully brought to life her other works Two Women and The Graft. Dangerous Lady has been adapted by Patrick Prior, who also wrote the scripts for the first two productions.

Dangerous Lady is an explosive drama, set in London’s underworld, which follows the fortunes of a London-Irish gangland family. It spans three decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s.

After a devastating love affair destroys all hopes of a normal life, 17-year-old Maura Ryan decides to join the family business and help her wild brother Michael carve up London.

The novel was bought by publisher Headline for a record advance and became an instant global hit.

The bestselling author was at the Theatre Royal as part of a national tour to mark the 20th anniversary of the novel’s first publication in 1992. It was a “regular stomping ground” for Martina in her youth and she is still passionate about the venue and its place in the community.

She said: “Its such a fantastic theatre and its a huge part of the community. They have done a fantastic job with Two Women and The Graft. I am very pleased because Patrick Prior just does such a wonderful job with the scripts.

“I have already been to rehearsals and he has really looked after the script. Patrick understands my books so well. It is wonderful to see them come to life.”

Martina loves the atmosphere at the theatre, describing it as “intimate”.

“I think it is so important to keep somewhere like this. It bothers me that they are closing libraries and that theatres could be going next. There is a lot of history here and ... there are a lot of actors and other talented people who are getting opportunities here.”

Dangerous Lady runs from October 19 to November 17.

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