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The Mata Hari Story – from Fri 26 April 2019

Fri 26 April 2019 - Sat 18 May 2019 at The Sydenham Centre
Show(s) at 8pm Thu, Fri, Sat*
(*except for week 1: Fri 26, Sat 27 & Sun 28 April)
Show lasts approximately 2 hours inc interval, suitable for adults only.

Tickets: £16 full price, £12 concessions

“Spontaneous Productions are the National Theatre of SE26. Always surprising, always entertaining, always impressive.” (Author and broadcaster MATTHEW SWEET)

About the Show


A new play by Jonathan Kaufman

“There is something which I wish you to take into consideration. It is that Mata Hari and Madame Zelle MacLeod are two completely different women…”

Paris, 1917. With the First World War raging, Mata Hari, the former exotic dancer and lover of rich and powerful men, is charged with espionage and threatened with execution. Her interrogator is determined to get to the truth of her story – but who was the real Mata Hari?

This new play by Spontaneous Productions’ Artistic Director Jonathan Kaufman explores this most enigmatic of historical figures – unpicking the myth of Mata Hari and revealing her multi-faceted persona. Featuring authentic recreations of her original dances, choregraphed by Michelle Buckley and original music by Deborah Garvey, take a journey into the Dutch East Indies in the 1890s, Paris during La Belle Epoque and war-torn Europe during WW1.

The Credits

Written, produced and directed by JONATHAN KAUFMAN
Original music and music co-ordinator DEBORAH GARVEY
Production designer SALLY HARDCASTLE
Costume designer ALEX MCARTHUR
Script consultant LUCY KAUFMAN
Photography IAN MACAULAY
Graphic design JULIE BENNETT

About the Author

Jonathan Kaufman is a playwright, director, producer and creative writing teacher. His plays include: Three Men in a Boat (Upstairs at the Sydenham Centre) Welcome to Luketia (King’s Head), The Roses of Whitechapel (Brockley Jack, Greenwich Playhouse, co-written with Martin Stiff), Stan & Ollie (Brockley Jack, co-devised with Martin Stiff), The Three Musketeers (The Dolphin Pub’s garden), A Christmas Carol (Studio Theatre, Catford Broadway), Halcyon Days (The Lord Stanley, Camden), Groovy Times (The Tabard Theatre, Chiswick), Frankenstein (Chapterhouse Merton), Dracula (Chapterhouse Merton, co-written with Martin Stiff) and some 25 original theatre shows for children, many co-written with brother Julian. Also with brother Julian he devised the musical School Ties (seen twice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival). His award-winning short play The Interpreter has been performed across the world and was filmed was for Sky TV in 2010.

Book Tickets

In person: Kirkdale Bookshop – 272 Kirkdale, Sydenham SE26 4RS
By phone: (Kirkdale Bookshop) 020 8778 4701
Online: booking closes 30 minutes before start time, but tickets may still be available on the door.
More on how to book

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Georgina Russell as the Young Mata Hari
Photo Credits: Ian Macaulay

The Cast

The Audience Reviews

What audiences have said about 2018’s ‘Eleanor Marx: The Jewess of Jews Walk’:

  • “That was wonderful! Amazing! A brilliant illustration of her life, superb direction, and a glorious take down of the patriarchy. Thank you!” (Carl Packman via twitter)
  • “Excellent play … excellently acted and directed, which I can thoroughly recommend. The central Marx/Aveling relationship is very convincing portrayed, with some fine dialogue. Don’t miss it.” (Robin Orton on Sydenham Town Forum)
  • “Loved the play last night. You managed to get so much of Eleanor’s life into it while focusing on her dreadful ‘marriage’ and the lead up to her tragic death… I do hope the play gets a transfer to West End – it deserves it.” (Lucille Grant, Twitter)
  • “Saw Eleanor Marx play last night & absolutely agree it deserves a West End run (plus Edinburgh)” (Rosalind Hardie, Twitter)

The Sponsors