Ten years old Roisin O’Doherty, a primary 7 pupil at Hollybush Primary School and a pupil of drama techer, Mary Duddy will be undertaking her first major stage role next week when she appears in ‘Thirteen Steps’ at The Playhouse .
Roisin will be working as one of the 24 strong cast for the Playhouse production of ‘Thirteen Steps’ by Patrick Durnin, which opens next Wednesday, May 14th.
The wide-ranging list of local talent, many of whom are playing more than one role, include Roisin’s mother, Maeve Connelly, Francis Harkin, Gerry Doherty, Greta McTeague, Micheal McDaid, Chris McIvor, Maureen Wilkinson, Rachel Melaugh, Muire McCallion, Eileen McMaster, Pól McCloone, Mickey Kelly, Paul O’Doherty, Peter Davidson, Bill Waters, Eoin Callaghan, Michael Way, Marie Dunne and Shaun Coyle.
The cast is working under the direction of Kieran Griffiths on a very special revolving stage, built specifically for the piece by stage designer Phil Ruddock.
Author of ‘The Workhouse and the Famine’ in Derry, historian and playwright Patrick Durnin formed The Waterside Local History Group, which played a meaningful part in the protection and preservation of the old Waterside Workhouse.
The Workhouse opened in 1840, closed as a Workhouse in 1948 but continued to be used as a hospital until 1991. The facility - based in the Waterside Library building at Glendermott Road in the city’s Waterside - closed last month.
The museum has kindly donated several pieces to The Playhouse for the production.
“First staged at The Playhouse in 2007, this new production tells the moving story of the poor and destitute people forced to go into the workhouse, where families were separated, where conditions were squalid and cramped, and where 40 people died each month,” Áine McCarron of The Playhouse commented.
“For us ‘Thirteen Steps’ is a very important piece, which explores the very human side of a major piece of local history. The timing of the piece, which was programmed several months in advance of the announcement that the Waterside Workhouse would close, was for us a sign that this important time in our city’s history will never be forgotten.
“We’re honoured to pay tribute to that part of our local past, and we’re delighted to announce that a truly wonderful local troupe of actors will help us do so.”
The Playhouse production of ‘Thirteen Steps’ by Patrick Durnin will run from Wednesday, May 14th to Saturday, May 17th at 8pm each evening.
Wednesday’s production will be a preview performance with a £5 admission. Admission for the other performances is £10.
To book,contact the Playhouse box office on (028)71268027 or visit www.derryplayhouse.co.uk