A Hampstead Theatre Production

Main Stage: Old Money

By Sarah Wooley

Directed by Terry Johnson

29 November - 12 January

Archived £15 - £29
'Every day I've worn a mask. You won't have noticed...But then one day. It began to chip...'



CAN’T GET TICKETS? The Box Office will sell any returned tickets 1 hour before the show. Customers wanting to queue before that time are welcome to do so in our foyer and we will provide a seating area. Please note that customers can purchase a maximum of 2 return tickets. It is essential to be at Hampstead Theatre to join our returns queue. We cannot offer any places via telephone or email, or sell any returns earlier than one hour before the performance.

‘This fine new comedy, by turns hilarious, dark and moving, finds Maureen Lipman giving one of the finest performances of her career.’ – ★★★★ The Telegraph

Old Money marks the end of a fantastic year for Hampstead Theatre…Tracy-Ann Oberman is superb’The London Magazine

Forty years of respectable marriage should have prepared Joyce for respectable widowhood. She, however, has other ideas – and a secret life of champagne, strippers, and chance encounters unfolds in this tender comedy.

New voice Sarah Wooley makes her main stage debut following successful plays at the National Theatre Studio, Theatre 503 and BBC Radio.

Olivier award winner Terry Johnson returns to Hampstead Theatre following The Memory of Water, Cracked and Dead Funny. He has since directed numerous west end hits such as the Tony award winning La Cage Aux Folles (Menier Chocolate Factory, Playhouse Theatre & Broadway), End of the Rainbow (Trafalgar Studios, West End & UK Tour), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Vaudeville Theatre), One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Garrick Theatre) and his stage adaptation of The Graduate (Gielgud Theatre).

Maureen Lipman makes a much anticipated return to Hampstead Theatre following Peggy for You in 1999. Her many other stage credits include When We Were Married (Garrick Theatre/West End), A Little Night Music (West End) and Oklahoma! (National Theatre). Her latest TV series was Ladies of Letters and she played the Mother in the Academy award winning film The Pianist.

We are delighted to welcome back Tracy-Ann Oberman to Hampstead following On the Rocks in 2008. Since then her recent theatre credits include Absurd Person Singular (Curve, Leciester), Boeing! Boeing! (Comedy Theatre/West End) and the critically acclaimed Earthquakes in London (Headlong/National Theatre). Television credits include Doctor Who, Eastenders, Monroe and Friday Night Dinner.

Running time approximately 2 hours including a 20 minute interval.



This fine new comedy, by turns hilarious, dark and moving, finds Maureen Lipman giving one of the finest performances of her career.

Though it is often richly comic, Sarah Wooley’s play also has pertinent and timely points to make. Should well-off parents be a permanent cash cow for their grown-up children, who in these hard times are often struggling to cope with families of their own? And in the case of Joyce’s mother, is it fair to bung her into a nursing home as soon as dementia kicks in? Wooley tackles these themes with wit and rigour, and I suspect they will strike a powerful chord with many. They certainly did with me.
You expect Lipman to be funny, but she is also deeply touching here, stirringly capturing a woman realising that most of her life has been largely unlived.

There is a lovely innocence and emotional candour in her performance as she befriends the young stripper and recalls her long distant youth when the Beatles were all the rage but she was too timid to attend one of their concerts. And Lipman also shows how her character’s life has been shaped and warped by the cruel consequences of an affair in her youth.
Terry Johnson’s richly enjoyable production, elegantly designed by Tim Shortall, discovers all the play’s strengths, and there are fine performances from Helen Ryan as Joyce’s mean-spirited old mother, Tracy-Ann Oberman as her materialistic, increasingly desperate daughter, and Nadia Clifford as the stripper who offers Joyce a new slant on life.

Best of all, I suspect the play’s ending will split the audiences right down the middle. The elderly will cheer, while many of the middle-aged and the young will watch it aghast, seeing it as an all-too plausible enactment of their own worst, and most guilt-laden, nightmare.

, , The Telegraph 7 December, 2012

In an extraordinary monologue near the end of ‘Old Money’, Joyce (Maureen Lipman) describes seeing bits of her face floating in a bowl of soup. Following her husband’s death, Joyce’s suffocating ‘mask’ of motherhood is finally beginning to shred.. And just as Joyce gets a fresh lease of life in Sarah Wooley’s excellent new comedy, so too does Maureen Lipman in a revelatory performance.

As her family parade their grief, Joyce sits in silence at her husband’s wake. She seems exceptionally fragile, as if she’s spent a lifetime staring sadly out of windows. But then Joyce buys a flashy, new red coat. Soon, she’s supping with strippers and flirting with strangers. Not even her dying mother can haul Joyce back to the family fold and her old, and ageing, way of life.

Wooley’s beautifully observed script – threaded through with such crisp humour – allows for a host of understated but powerful performances. Helen Ryan is ferociously entertaining as Joyce’s mother, Pearl, a lady who pronounces ‘London’ as if it were a disease and ‘grief’ as if it were a gift. Tracy-Ann Oberman, as a harassed mother and Joyce’s leeching daughter, is as sympathetic as she is repulsive.

But it is Lipman who consistently compels, aided by Terry Johnson’s acute direction. This is a natural but brilliantly detailed performance. As Joyce innocently chats with a stripper, she loops her handbag through her legs. And when she attends her mother’s funeral, her screeching sobs descend into hideous, manic laugher. Honest, haunting and unforgettable.

, , Time Out


Old Money: Boxing Day and New Year's Day special offer

Mince pie and glass of champagne for only £5

Old Money: ★★★★ from Time Out

Miriam Gillinson awards Old Money four stars

Old Money: ★★★★ from The Telegraph

Charles Spencer awards Old Money four stars

Old Money: Production Photos

Old Money production photos taken by Manuel Harlan

Old Money shop: Discover More

Programmes £3 and playtexts £5

Ham & High: Maureen Lipman Interview

Ham & High’s Bridget Galton interviews Old Money star Maureen Lipman. When we meet in the foyer of Hampstead Theatre, Maureen Lipman is going through her regular “ferry to Bruges” mo…

Graham Norton meets Maureen Lipman

Maureen Lipman joined Graham Norton on his BBC Radio 2 programme this weekend to talk about Old Money, confronting widowhood and ‘the last great exploration’. You can liste…

Will Mortimer interviews Sarah Wooley

The writer of Old Money talks about writing female roles and working at Hampstead

Edward Hall introduces Old Money

2012 has been one of the most significant years in the long history of Hampstead Theatre. Our first two years laid groundwork – stabilising and restructuring the institution whilst deliveri…

YOUR Interview with Tracy-Ann Oberman: submit questions now

Have you ever wanted to ask Tracy-Ann Oberman anything? Well here’s your chance…

Embarking on a new journey... some do it more spectacularly than others!

Exploring themes in Old Money...

Cast & Crew

Artistic Team


Sarah Wooley


Terry Johnson


Tim Shortall

Lighting Designer

Rick Fisher

Sound Designer

John Leonard


Gabrielle Dawes


Paul Englishby



Nadia Clifford

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Geoffrey Freshwater

Maureen Lipman.jpg

Maureen Lipman


Tracy-Ann Oberman


Helen Ryan

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Timothy Watson