Benny and the Greycats

Words: Suzanne Gorman, Music: Riz Maslen and Mike Gorman

Maya’s latest project is a refreshing, urgent and daring new production in development called Benny and the Greycats.

Set in the 1960s, the story follows a family of Anglo-Indian musicians who swap playing in swing bands in South India to pursue a new life in the steel city of Sheffield. It is a story inspired by Artistic Director Suzanne Gorman’s family history, whose uncles played in the Madras Jazz Group in the 1950s in India, and then played in pop combos in Yorkshire clubs in the 1960s.

The play is rooted in working class northern culture and follows a migration journey exploring themes of cultural heritage, mental health, the legacy of colonialism and music.

Taster of Benny and the Greycats Showcase Performance 2021

A performance of scenes and songs at Migration Matters Festival 2021.

Maya Productions showcased  a work-in-progress performance of Benny and the Greycats at three festivals in July 2021:

Arcola Theatre as part of the Today I’m Wiser Festival on the 7th July at 5:00pm

Disrupt 21 on the 8th of July at 1:45pm

Migration Matters Festival on the 12th at 6:pm


The piece was originally developed through the Open Lab at Barbican and then,  through a workshop week and early-stage sharing at Sheffield Theatres.

Due to Covid 19, we postponed our next workshop and sharing of work to July 2021. We continued  to develop the piece, at home, and eventually tested out some of the material in an online workshop in November 2020.

If you are interested in finding out more about the play and/or being partner or co-producer in the next stages please contact Producer Sam Holland at

Click here to download our information pack

Images from R&D at Arcola Theatre and Deli Sheffield during Migration Matters Festival 2021

Our company said

I really want to see a true story of immigration with great music hit the British stage, a non-stereotypical story of immigrants in the UK to highlight the importance of our multi-cultural society.”
( Natasha Lewis)

“I think this musical shows us what it means to be British from a point of view that hasn’t been seen before. As such, it is a very important piece.”
( Paul Sirett)

“I feel the piece is moving in a unique and exciting direction.”
( Adam Samuel Bal)

“the family was symbolic for every single family in the entire world who have HAD TO MOVE (forced) to seek survival and a future.”
(Jason Patel)

Images from workshop at Sheffield Theatres, click to enlarge

Images from Barbican Open Lab, click to enlarge



Photos of workshop week at Sheffield Theatres by Nadjet Ben Maghnia

Supported by Teale Charitable Trust, Unity Theatre Trust, Sheffield Town Trust, The Scurrah Wainwright Charity and The Arts Council.

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