Exploring the greatest new and classic plays




059 – Paradise Now! , by Margaret Perry

Mar 2, 2023 | Podcast Episodes | 0 comments

The subject of this episode is a scintillating new play written by Irish playwright, Margaret Perry, which as we recorded our conversation had recently completed an acclaimed run at the Bush Theatre in London. When it opened in December 2022 the Telegraph said that Paradise Now! “might well be the best new play of the year”.

Paradise Now! brings together a group of women who sign up to a pyramid selling scheme that promotes a range of body and home oils under the brand banner ‘Paradise’. The so-called “Essential” oils offer balm to a myriad of stresses in modern life, while also promising the team that sell them both wealth and a nurturing community of supportive colleagues. ‘Paradise’ is a parody of the well-being industry and of corporate culture generally, and it is a very funny and incisive satire. It is also an affecting exploration of private ambition and the search for self-worth and connection in our fractured world of social media and short-term success. The women who join the sales scheme are themselves looking for cures to challenges in their own lives, and the road to Paradise Now! is not so sure and smooth.

I’m delighted to be joined by Margaret Perry to talk about her perceptive, funny and moving new play.


Margaret Perry

Margaret Perry, like some of the characters in her new play, is originally from Cork in Ireland, and now lives in London. Her debut play, Porcelain, was picked from the unsolicited script pile and produced by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 2018. Porcelain masterfully interweaves the story of a new mother in London in 2017 battling post-natal depression, with the famous 19th century Irish tale of Bridget Cleary, whose husband murdered her claiming that she had been taken by fairies.

Her second play Collapsible started life at the Vaults Festival in London in 2019, going on to win awards at both the Edinburgh and Dublin Fringe Festivals, followed by a successful run at the Bush in 2020.


Recommended Play

Margaret recommended John by Annie Baker.


Become a Patron!

Since I launched The Play Podcast in April 2020, I have managed to eschew any form of advertising or sponsorship, and I would like to continue to produce the podcast without doing so. I therefore invite you to help me to continue to make the podcast by becoming a Patron.
Additional benefits available to Patrons include Footnotes on the plays covered in the podcast, as well as exclusive access to The Play Review.

For details click here

Thank you very much for listening and for your support.

The Texts
If you are interested in buying the play text or other related books, we’d be delighted if you choose to purchase them from our selected partners Bookshop.org and Blackwell’s. Not only will you be supporting independent booksellers, we will also earn a small commission on every book you purchase, which helps to keep the podcast going. Click on the cover to buy from our chosen partner. Thank you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also be interested in …
080 – Long Day’s Journey into Night, by Eugene O’Neill

080 – Long Day’s Journey into Night, by Eugene O’Neill

Eugene O’Neill wrote his autobiographical magnum opus, Long Day’s Journey into Night, in 1941, but because of the personal revelations it contained he gave explicit instructions that it was not to be published until 25 years after his death and that it should never be staged. In the event his widow allowed both to occur in 1956, only three years after his death, when the play won O’Neill his fourth Pulitzer prize.

As we record this episode, a powerful new production of the play is playing in London, with Brian Cox and Patricia Clarkson heading the cast. I am delighted and privileged to talk with the production’s director, Jeremy Herrin, about O’Neill’s monumental play.

Photo by Johan Persson.

079 – The Hills of California, by Jez Butterworth

079 – The Hills of California, by Jez Butterworth

A new Jez Butterworth play is a theatrical event. The Hills of California is currently running at the Harold Pinter theare in London’s West End, directed by Sam Mendes. Do not be misled by the title, however, we are not in sunny California, but in the back streets of Blackpool, where four daughters come together to say goodbye to their dying mother. The play is a portrait of lost dreams, of deeply ingrained patterns of love and hurt within a family, and of suppressed and mutable memories.

I’m joined to explore this major new work by Sean McEvoy, author of Class, Culture and Tragedy in the Plays of Jez Butterworth.

078 – The Lover and The Collection, by Harold Pinter

078 – The Lover and The Collection, by Harold Pinter

We have a double-bill in this episode of two short plays written by Harold Pinter in the early 1960s: The Lover and The Collection, both of which explore sexual compulsion and the manipulation of truth within marriage or partnerships. As we record this episode a new production of both plays is playing at the Theatre Royal in Bath, directed by Lindsay Posner.

I’m delighted to welcome Lindsay back to the podcast to talk about these two Pinter gems.

Claudie Blakley and David Morrissey in The Lover
Photo by Nobby Clark