Lady Of The Night

Miss Nightingale is back on tour – hitting our own Library Theatre this month.


Bigger, better and brassier than ever before, the burlesque musical offers a story of sex, scandal and showbiz set in the smoky war-torn streets and clubs of 1940s London. We caught up with new leading lady Jill Cardo to find out all about her audacious character of Maggie Brown/Miss Nightingale and what it’s like to be working back home in Sheffield. Words: Rachel Heward.


Tell us about the role of Miss Nightingale and what attracted you to it.

Maggie, Miss Nightingale, is a nurse in the war who hasn’t really had much luck. She starts this cabaret act with a friend, a gay refugee songwriter, and they get a stroke of luck by working in a new club opening in London. It’s kind of like a modern day rise to celebrity – set in the 1940s. It’s a brilliant part to play; Maggie is a brassy, ballsy, feisty strong female role… although she does have a vulnerable side too. It’s really fun to play because she’s basically a comedienne.


How does it differ from previous roles you’ve had on the stage, television or radio?

Well, it’s live music – and all the cast are playing instruments on stage. I play the trumpet, which I really enjoy – and it’s also a completely new era to me. It’s a fascinating snapshot in time and, up until now, I’ve played young, less raunchy roles. It’s quite nice to have a challenge that’s so fun.


Do you prefer the theatre over television or radio then?

I love theatre; it’s where I feel most at home. There’s always some element of live theatre that’s unpredictable and exciting. It’s more immediate. And the rest of the cast is so talented.



You’re from Sheffield, so the four Yorkshire dates will be a bit of a homecoming for you. What’s it like for you coming back after the West End?

It’s really nice. I’ve never had the chance to work in Sheffield before – so I immediately feel much more relaxed being at home. And the Library Theatre is great – so much more intimate. It’s like a proper cabaret club and is very in keeping with the period. The whole show is very authentic, it’s all acoustic and live, with no real modern technology or microphones. All the costumes are vintage too.


What can we expect from the show? Laugh out loud moments, innuendo and feel-good music, or does it have a more poignant message about war-torn Britain and issues surrounding sexuality at the time?

It’s a really big mixture and has a very important message. There are touching and challenging moments spliced together with cabaret and comedy. It’s parody and satire that takes you right through the rigmarole. Because of the emotional peaks, when it does hit you with the music and the witty lyrics, you end up laughing all the more. It’s very demanding and very exciting. For people who love musicals Miss Nightingale is perfect – full of toe-tapping numbers. But it’s also one for those who perhaps aren’t such a big fan of musicals. Because of the live music, the costumes and the venue, it’s like a big 1940s gig.


You started rehearsals a couple of days ago, how’s it gone so far?

We’ve all been rolling about laughing already with the cheeky innuendo and some of the lines. It’s all about the comedy.


And finally, in one sentence, tell us why we should go and see Miss Nightingale.

It’s sexy, funny, raucous, silly and moving – it’s for everyone!


Miss Nightingale, by Matthew Bugg, is on at The Library Theatre, Mon April 28 – Fri May 2. Visit for tickets from £18. For more information head to 


To win a pair of tickets to the show, check out our competition. 


Photo credit: Joe Armitage @BoneShaker Photography.

There are no comments

Add yours