Multi award winning Derry-based theatre company, Sole Purpose Productions is launching a new play in which an Irish woman kidnaps arch climate change denier Donald Trump to save the planet.
Mothers Out Front by writer, academic and social campaigner Edie Shillue is a play that uses comedy to explore the serious issue of climate change.
It tells the story of three women who, after years of ‘thinking globally and acting locally’, are fed up with being ignored. They go to a protest at a global economic summit in Dublin. One of the women takes a wrong turn and decides to single-handedly change the protest. She kidnaps the American President, determined to exchange him for a different type of ransom. This tragicomedy asks the question ‘How far would you go to save the only planet you ever had?’
Ms Shillue said: “This story will look familiar to many people, as three Irish women try to get all of us to listen to their warnings about the future. There’s nothing they won’t do to get us all to #listentoyourmother. I also hope that people take the time afterwards to ask questions about how they can better understand climate change and what they can do to help those among us who are climate defenders.”
Her previous play The House, which was produced by Sole Purpose in 2015, tackled the issue of human trafficking. She has been working on issues of global and social justice for 20 years in locations around the world. During her work in Vietnam in 1993, she became aware of climate change as an issue of justice when she witnessed flooding patterns in SE Asia generally and Vietnam specifically.
Sole Purpose, which won the Special Jury Prize at Origin Theatre’s 1st Irish Festival in New York earlier this year, is on the road again in partnership with Zero Waste North West (ZWNW). The play is performed by a stellar cast including Abby Oliveira (Life and Love; Lesbian Style by Hilary McCollum, Sole Purpose, winner of Eva Gore Booth Award 2014), Carmel McCafferty (Clouds on a Mountain Road by Orna Akad, Sole Purpose), Muire McCallion (Sleepy Hollow: A Musical Tale, Cre: 8 Theatre).
It is directed by Patricia Byrne, Artistic Director of Sole Purpose Productions, who has toured work throughout the UK, Ireland and the USA.
Patricia continued: “We need to raise awareness of climate change as much as possible. Working with such a great cast and production team will certainly get the message out there in a dynamic and impactful way. I am grateful to our funders – the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for their support and dedication.”
Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development added: “The Arts Council is delighted to support this latest work from Sole Purpose Productions through National Lottery funding. It’s another great example, from this award-winning organisation, of using the arts to tackle difficult subjects and create an open discussion.”
Each performance will be followed by a Q+A with members of ZWNW and the writer.
Maeve O’Neill of ZWNW concluded: “It is great for Zero Waste North West to support this new play on climate change. The arts play such an important role to educate and inform people about climate change, and empower people to be part of the movement to save the planet. We look forward to the discussion after each play to further the action against climate breakdown.”
The play can be seen this month at Crescent Arts Centre Belfast, An Coire Maghera, Strule Arts Centre Omagh and locally on May 21 and 22 at The Derry Playhouse and The Alley Theatre, Strabane on May 30.
Free workshops on climate change are available for groups to book for your community, please contact Sole Purpose at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.