Mary Jane Wells Theatre Reviews

Mary Jane Wells Theatre Reviews / Press


Please see all recent press for Heroine here, including interview on with CNN’s Laura Coates in Washington DC:


HEROINE, One Woman Show Pre-publicity

Hilarious and chilling by turns, Heroine tells a compelling story whilst digging deep into subjects so raw they are taboo.
Without flinching.. Wells takes her audience out to the edge and shows them the blazing fires beneath: she does an exceptional job. There is a real spontaneity to Wells’ performance, too. She has a story to tell, but no axe to grind here, and the words fall out as if they were coming to her on the spot, not carefully scripted. Tension, release and laughter…she know a thing or two about pace – both in the telling and in the writing.

If you can’t see it now, mark it well and go and see it when you can. What appears, on the surface, to be the furthest from what you would want as the basis for an evening’s entertainment, turns out to be fascinating and gloriously entertaining – even as it bites hard.”

– Thom Dibdin, All Edinburgh Theatre ****


HEROINE, One Woman Show Publicity

“Wells entirely embodies her protagonist whether in harrowing episodes of attack… or throughout her progression through rage, helplessness and redemption. At no point does she shy away from any aspect of Danna’s story, including the pitch dark humour of a survivor. Her mesmerising performance combines flawlessly with carefully considered staging and lighting…and Wells cleverly, painstakingly depicts the sheer, exhausting labour of healing. A real miracle…the effects of a play like Heroine will far outlast anything that a mere soundbite could hope to convey. A play that impacts its audience whilst dramatising sensitive subject matter with the utmost respect.
​Powerful, visceral theatre that is not easily forgotten.”

– Marc David Jacobs, The Fountain, 90%

“An impressive performance….Heroine is a compelling story of resilience and survival, told by Wells in her own script with tremendous assurance and vivid attention to detail. A clean and focussed production.. with Matt Padden’s excellent soundscape putting us on edge and the unsentimental poetry of the script keeping us gripped, it’s a tough, impassioned show.”

– Mark Fisher, The Scotsman ****

MARTHA, Catherine Wheels Theatre, US tour

“(Mary Jane Wells as) Martha.. a giggle-inducing, ultimately poignant lesson in the power of friendship.”

– The New York Times

“A heartwarming tale about friendship and trust.”

 – Glasgow Evening News

“Martha is the sort of play that delivers hope to theatre critics and adults who love live drama, it is a lively, humorous and thoroughly entertaining.”

 – Pittsburgh Tribune

“Martha represents the best in fresh dynamic theatre for young audiences.”

 – New York Theatre-Wire

JUDITH, Citizens Theatre, UK

“Mary Wells’s frantic, remarkably impolitic servant provides some fine expressions of Barker’s powerfully dark humour. It is a measure of her skill that she makes her comic meddling fit so seamlessly into the piece.”

– Scotland On Sunday

“It is Mary Wells who steals the show with her insane babble and perfect comic timing.”

– Metro

THE RED BALLOON, Visible Fictions Theatre, US tour

“The versatile four-member Visible Fictions prove once more …a vehicle that can soar with joy and plumb the depths of loneliness and despair. At times funny, at times suspenseful, trenchant and buoyant, ”The Red Balloon” is a fine fantasy”

–  The New York Times

CYPRUS, Traverse Theatre, UK

“Mary Wells is particularly clever in her creation of Traquair’s daughter, Alison… In the second half..a brilliant volte-face from Wells as talk turns to action.”

 – The Stage

“Actress Wells makes the final scenes an edge-of-the-seat moment…”

– Darren Scott, Edinburgh Evening News ****

“Mary Wells provides a feast of fine acting, somehow finding a credible and moving path.. through Arnott’s dark universe of secrets and lies.”

– The Scotsman

“Mary Wells’s deadly Alison prowls with a steely intensity.”

– Neil Cooper, The Herald

“Well’s semi-hysterical, calculating daughter is endlessly watchable. ..never lets you off the hook, politically or emotionally.”

-Steve Cramer, The List

FAUST, parts I and II, Edinburgh Lyceum, UK

“Mary Wells as a Blairite property developer hits the mark..a hilarious performance, momentarily overshadowing Mephistos evil.”

– Mark Brown, Sunday Herald

“Impressively athletic and committed”

– The Times

“Magnificent stuff, it sweeps you away..powerful and fascinating.”

Thom Dibdin, Evening News * * * *

“An epic thats flaming brilliant…unmissable”

– Neil Cooper, Scotsman * * * *

“Thought provoking and challenging but shot through with a bawdy vitality, this piece is breathtaking.”

– Alan Chadwick, Metro * * * *

“A tremendous thrill of theatrical adventurousness..this audacious prodcution is frequently funny but never less than serious.”

– Mark Fisher, Guardian * * * *

“Outstanding…Scottish theatre does not get much better than this.”

– Mhairi Hetherington, Scottish Theatre Web

“The actors deliver Cliffords mindblowing 21st century take on this great story with an idealism and intensity that becomes irresistible.”

– Mary Brennan, Scotsman

“Bristling with big ideas, luxuriant language, acrobatic staging..often very funny, moving, evangelical..enthralling.”

–  Andrew Burnet, The List

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