Nellie Bly

nellie-bly-1.pngCopyright Samantha EdgleyThe Adventures of Nellie Bly
Written and performed by Maya Levy
Directed by Abigail Anderson
Set Design by Dora Schweitzer
Costume by Lindsey Holmes
Dramaturgy by Kirstin Smith
Sound production Nick Trepka
Set Construction Steve Wilson



Funded by Arts Council England with additional funding from West London Synagogue
Additional support from Mark Warman, Jim Fletcher, Fiona and Giles, Saraid Dodd and Ryan Trebilcock

An original one-woman show about a highly original woman – with songs!

Before women had the right to vote, daredevil reporter Nellie Bly spent 10 days in a madhouse, went round the world in 72 days, became an elephant trainer and reported on the violent Pullman strikes of Chicago – in favour of the strikers. Funny, fast-paced and enlightening, The Adventures of Nellie Bly is for adults and is suitable 9+.

“Admirable, articulate, precise and entertaining. The comic songs are fun and beautifully sung.” (Pamela Edwardes, The F Word).

“Totally enchanting: Tom Lehrer possessed by Emmeline Pankhurst” (Tim Wilson, Vault Festival).

Reviews from Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Café Camino, August 2015

“High Recommended Show” Fringe Review
To read the full review:

“Levy’s Bly is an impressive heroine, clawing her way into journalism with determination and perseverance, and establishing herself as one of the most daring writers around.”
To read the full review:

Audience reviews

“A really wonderful show, so good my friend and I couldn’t believe the hour went by so quickly. Maya Levy tells the story of Nellie Bly with all the guts, charm and wit of the daring girl reporter herself. Be prepared for humour, astonishment and heartbreak along with wonderful songs. Really can’t recommend it enough.” Elizabeth Ann Duffy

“This is superb, superb!! Music, comedy, and the biography of a truly amazing woman – journalist, pusher of boundaries, and promoter of women in the face of 19th/early 20th century misogyny. Brilliant acting, singing & use of a very clever set.” Jennifer Reid

Watch the Trailer


Read an interview about the show in the Ham & High

Previous Shows

August 8th-22nd, Café Camino, Edinburgh Fringe

July 8th, Garrick Theatre Lichfield

March 7th, 8th 2015 JW3 Weekend of Women

January 28th-Feb 1st The Vault Festival 2015

November 13th, 18th, 20th 2014, West London Synagogue

Visit the Facebook Page for Nellie Bly.




Abigail Anderson has directed over 80 productions including: Canterbury Tales in a new adaptation for Guildford Shakespeare Company; Pride and Prejudice in a version for two actors; Colder than Here and See How They Run for Theatre by the Lake in Keswick; an aerial version of Medea and five devised comedy shows with Gonzo Moose Theatre Company.

She was Associate Director for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from 2008-12 for whom she directed national tours of: Dick Turpin’s Last Ride, The Two of Us, Cider with Rosie, Three Men in a Boat, Twelfth Night and Art; as well as acclaimed in-house productions of Shakespeare and several pantomimes.

She is actively involved in the development of new plays and musicals, working with writers such as Susannah Pearse, Chris Lee, Daniel O’Brien, David Cottis and Malcolm Pryce.


Lindsey Holmes has worked as a costumier, curator and artist for over ten years; working with collections from The National History Museum, The Richard Lancelyn Green-Conan Doyle Collection and Keats House. Lindsey has degrees in textiles, education, and an MA in Costume for performance from London College of Fashion. Lindsey won a Renaissance Heritage Award for Won’t you come and help? in 2009, a project funded by the UK Costume Society, in partnership with Ayscoughfee Hall Museum and Spalding Gentlemen’s Society. Lindsey’s first book, on creating period costume will be published with Crowood Press in 2015.

DORA SCHWEITZER (Set designer)

Trained on the Motley Theatre Design Course, Dora previously graduated with a first in English Literature from UEA. She has designed over seventy productions, including Seagull (Arcola Theatre, with Geraldine James & the late Roger Lloyd Pack), Emma (with Doon MacKichan at Edinburgh, Watford Palace & Tricycle), 5 national tours of Grumpy Old Women Live (Avalon – with Jenny Eclair, Linda Robson, Dillie Keane, Britt Ekland), The Lifeblood (Wiltons, Riverside Studios), Cider With Rosie, Dick Turpin, Merchant of Venice (Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal/ national tour), Nicholas Nickleby (GSMD), Medea (Actors of Dionysus – aerial production – Rose Theatre, Kingston). Current projects include The Canterbury Tales (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Helen (Actors of Dionysus – physical/aerial response to Helen of Troy myth – current tour), Pride and Prejudice (Richard Darbourne Ltd. – touring nationally until end Nov), and The Trials of Oscar Wilde (tour and run at Trafalgar Studios 2).

Productions Stills by Karla Gowlett

Karla Gowlett Karla Gowlett Karla Gowlett Karla Gowlett Karla Gowlett

Karla Gowlett   Karla Gowlett Karla Gowlett  Karla Gowlett

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