Her Aching Heart

29 Nov - 23 Dec 2016
The Hope Theatre
Parker’s ingenious direction pulls it all together in a glorious, idiosyncratic, funny and very poignant, romp
Musical Theatre Review

WINNER: Best Play, Spy In The Stalls Awards 2016

Grab a bonnet, lace up your corset, and prepare to swoon, as this tongue-in-cheek musical whirlwind parodies the best in bodice-ripping romance. Innocent maidens and haughty aristocrats ardently pursue each other through a tempestuous, gothic landscape, replete with murder, elopement and heaving bosoms a-plenty as two heartbroken women jump between the pages of the same bonk-busting paperback – and play all the parts between them!

“Oh what a day! Oh what a wind of hope blows through the echoing corridors of my breast! Rattling at the knobs and knockers of the doors to my dry and dusty emotions!”

Bryony Lavery’s wonderful pastiche of the Mills and Boon genre is joyfully peppered with torch songs and is revived at The Hope Theatre in a 25th Anniversary production, featuring original music by Ian Brandon (Notes From My Shelf, Big Bruvva, On Our Street) and directed by Matthew Parker; The Hope’s Off West End Award winning Artistic Director.

The production gained a record breaking 11 ★★★★★ reviews, won Best Play at the 2016 Spy In The Stalls Awards and was nominated for 3 OFFIE Awards 2017 including Best Director for Matthew Parker. 






  • Harriet: Collette Eaton
  • Molly: Naomi Todd


  • Writer: Bryony Lavery
  • Producer: The Hope Theatre & LWL Entertainment Ltd
  • Director: Matthew Parker
  • Composer: Ian Brandon
  • Designer: Rachael Ryan
  • Lighting: Tom Kitney
  • Sound: Paul Freeman
  • Stage Manager: Ella Dixon
  • Associate Producer: David Ralf 
  • Assistant Director: Phil Croft
  • Choreographer: Anthony Whiteman
  • Fight Director: Alex Payne
  • Production Photographer: Roy Tan

Thanks to Matthew Parker's sympathetic direction, you'll soon feel blind optimism again... It will have you laughing so hard it will physically hurt

View From The Gods

Parker’s directions, fantastic acting, songs, bloomers and farcical gimmicks make HER ACHING HEART a delightful production

London Box Office

Lavery’s show under Parker’s deft direction has fashioned a feel-good hit that is both familiar and ‘fresh’

Female Arts

Expertly directed by Hope Theatre boss Matthew Parker, this is not just the best period lesbian musical in London but one of the best musicals full stop!

IThankYou Theatre

Pats on the back all round, wonderfully done

West End Wilma

Had the audience engrossed and laughing out loud from start to finish

Planet Nation

Funny, frisky, frantic, fabulous

Art Speak

A stroke of genius

London Pub Theatres

I haven’t laughed this much at a show in a long time

Grumpy Gay Critic

Irrevocably silly, challenging, and touching, all at the same time

Carn's Theatre Passion