24 cast members, a devised musical score, arevolving stage and several local primary schools will help tell the moving story of the poor and destitute in the Waterside workhouse.
‘Thirteen Steps’ by historian and playwright Patrick Durnin explores the history of the building and the human story behind those forced to go into it.
Several local primary schools will be involved in the production, providing original artwork about the workhouse for display in The Playhouse for the run of the show. St Eugene’s Primary School and Ballykelly Primary School will provide produce work emulating the workhouse life, varying from drawings/pictures/or letters as children of the workhouse separated from their families etc.
Hollybush Primary School also boasts involvement as one of their Primary Seven pupils, 10 year old Roisin O’Doherty, plays the role of Eileen Connors in the play.
She will share the stage with her mother Maeve Connelly, and 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 will work under the direction of Kieran Griffiths on a very special revolving stage, built specifically for the piece by stage designer Phil Ruddock. The piece will also feature a specially devised musical score by Kristine Doonan.
Announced just weeks after the Derry~Londonderry Workhouse Museum closed its doors for the last time, the 24 strong cast for The Playhouse’s production prepare now prepare to open on Wednesday night.
“As author of ‘The Workhouse and the Famine’ Patrick Durnin spent years exploring the human story, the people who experienced the workhouse, and as a funder member of The Waterside Local History Group, played a meaningful part in the protection and preservation of the old Waterside Workhouse. We’re honoured that through this play, we have the chance to preserve this history in our own way,” said Aine McCarron of the Playhouse.
The Playhouse production of ‘Thirteen Steps’ by Patrick Durnin will run Wednesday to Saturday 17 May at 8pm. For more information contact (028)71268027 or visit www.derryplayhouse.co.uk.