The New Look

a sequence of plays by Juliet Ace that focus on Mattie Jones' childhood in a small town in the South Wales of the 1950s.



Sixty years after the revolutionary New Look breathed life into postwar fashion, Malcolm McLaren salutes the talent of Christian Dior.

0101Tailor's Tacks1999051420020906

It is 1946 and Mattie is often hearing things she should not.

0102Beeny's Camiknickers1999052120020913

In the winter of 1947, Mattie spends most of her time with Beeny in the bakery, where she learns to make faggots and discovers the perils of flirting with boys. With Stephanie Wookey and Jennifer Hill. Director Tanya Nash

0103 LASTCelluloid Lady1999052820020920

It is 1948 and Mattie is now fascinated by Mona Morgan and her daydreams about Hollywood film stars, as she pulls pints in her father's pub. With Stephanie Wookey and Jennifer Hill. Director Tanya Nash


Mattie has reached adolescence. She is 15 and frustrated because she has to spend her Saturdays cooking for her grandfather and her blind aunt when what she really wants to do is speculate about sex and boys with her friend Merle or bury her head in yet another book. Mattie's relationship with her aunt is a vexed one but, despite their arguments, she begins to understand something of what her handicap means to her. One of Mattie's tasks is to read to her aunt and she finds that she wants to protect her from information that may distress her. However difficult Mattie finds her aunt, she is unequivocal in her love for her grandfather, Dada, and she delights in the stories he tells her. When Dada becomes ill she discovers that making pastry is not the only challenge she has to face and that families can respond to adversity in unpredictable ways. Young Mattie....Mali Harries Older Mattie....Jennifer Hill Director: Gilly Adams.

0202 LASTMattie And Bluebottle20040220

Mattie Jones is on the brink of leaving home. It's 1955 and she is 17 years old, studying (so she pretends) for her 'A' Levels. Her parents have said she must go to teacher training college but Mattie still dreams of becoming an actress. At home, Mattie uses her room to escape and to dream. She is still timorous of her parents but the thing that draws them together is The Goon Show. It's the one time they'll sit together as a family, around the wireless, sharing the jokes. At school, with her friend Millie, she covers up for her family life by endlessly quoting the Goons and by keeping a diary. The girls are lazy at school and naïve about the world but they know they are on the brink of adulthood and desperate to be independent. But Mattie's mother manages to strike one more blow of humiliation on Mattie's first day of freedom at college.