Set in the recessionary early 1980’s The Factory Girls tells the story of five women facing the threat of redundancy, who stage a lock-in in a shirt factory in Co. Donegal. As their protest continues the women learn more about each other and themselves as they explore their anger, courage and compassion. Hardy ringleader Ellen and factory veteran Una, sharp-tongued Vera, dark horse Rebecca and baby of the bunch, Rosemary. Under the threat of devastating job loss, the “girls” take matters in to their own hands. During the course of their adventure, they discover who and what really counts when the chips are down.
The play was the stunning debut of Frank McGuinness, one of Ireland’s greatest living playwrights, and was first produced in 1982. Funny, engaging and moving.
Hugh Pugh, a West Cavan mountain farmer is taking a bath for the first time in four years when a so-called wealthy developer arrives in the middle of his bathing experience with a fairly straight forward proposition. Except, Hugh Pugh is far from straight forward. In fact Hugh Pugh is far from anything. Or anywhere. Beckett confronts us with the basic facts of human existence.
The Importance of Being Earnest is the most renowned of Oscar Wilde’s comedies. It’s the story of two bachelors, John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, who create alter egos named Ernest to escape their tiresome lives. They attempt to win the hearts of two women who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest. The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure. The elaborate plot ridicules Victorian sensibilities with some of the best loved, and indeed bizarre, characters to be found on the modern stage.
Push Up, set entirely in a high-rise office block, takes a satirical look at power struggles and lust in an international corporation. Who will get the coveted top job in Delhi? Why has Sabine already been turned down for it? Why is Robert's pitch for a new TV ad proving unsuccessful? Who will pass muster to reach the executive suite? Will anyone find love - or even sex?
Three sets of rivals compete aggressively for what they desire. Their face to face battles are inter-cut with individual musings about their personal lives, breaking the fourth wall. These scenes are topped and tailed by monologues delivered by two security guards.
The play was written by a German playwright Arnold Schimmelpfennig, who is well known and lauded in his native country. The English language version was premiered at The Royal Court in London in 2002.
The Mill on the Floss is a work of startling sadness. It is one of the most affecting stories of family loss, tragedy and the sheer meaness of fate. Maggie Tulliver, is the daughter of a miller in the English midlands. Like many nineteenth century literary girls, her intelligence and emotional capacity outflank those of her family and this causes problems. She is devoted to her brother Tom but he is hopelessly limited in his understanding. Maggie turns to Philip Wakem, who is the son of a local lawyer. Disaster strikes their relationship as Mr Tulliver and Wakem find themselves enemies over a legal dispute that leaves Tulliver bankrupt.
In the rising floodwaters you see very mixed emotions of a woman trapped and doomed by the expectations of a society suspicious of an intelligent woman who thinks and feels too much for her own good at that time.
Meet Eugene Jerome and his family, fighting the hard times and sometimes each other – with laughter, tears and love. It is 1937 in Brooklyn during the heart of the Depression and Eugene lives in Brighton Beach with his family. He is witty, perceptive, obsessed with sex and forever fantasising his baseball triumphs as star pitcher for the New York Yankees. As our guide through his “memoirs”, Eugene takes us through a series of trenchant observations and insights that show his family meeting life’s challenges with pride, spirit and a marvellous sense of humour. But as World War II looms ever close, Eugene sees his own innocence slipping away as the first important era of his life ends and a new one begins.
“The specific incident around which some of the play is drawn, was inspired by the true story of Turf Lodge woman Rosaleen Nolan”. Martin Lynch story of a family struggling with a life of poverty in a place of unemployment, poor housing, anti-social behaviour, drink, drugs and domestic abuse. Mary Fullerton has been deserted by her drunken husband, and lives in a tower block, subsisting on Valium and Carlsberg Special. Her son Eddy is a joyrider, and only her daughter Pauline has the buoyancy to survive and save her family, but if she stays to do so she must abandon her own future. This is a Belfast of joy-riding, drug-taking, unemployment and brutality where a once-optimistic people are driven to despair. Martin Lynch is one of the most important dramatists to have emerged from the political and cultural ferment of the last thirty years.
The Lonesome West is set in rural Ireland and tells the story of brothers Valene and Coleman. While they find themselves constantly bickering, living alone in their father's house after his recent death, they find it impossible to exist without massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the local young priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage.
“We are in a decidedly perilous position, to put it mildly’.
Adam, an American doctor, Edward, an Irish journalist and Michael, an English academic, have little to unit them beyond being human in the same small space. Yet somehow, together, they determine to ward off madness and forestall despair.
Somewhere lurk their unseen captors yet, in their cell, there are stories of adventure and love, there is song and laughter and even a surge of writing, cocktail drinking and movie making.
Inspired by the abduction of Brian Keenan – taken hostage in Lebanon in the 1980s – Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is playwright Frank McGuiness’s hymn to the defiant power of the human spirit and the creative imagination.