Stories, myths and legends explored in Big Telly’s Show

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A blast of fringe-style vaudevillian theatre, inspired by the story of a real 17th Century Portrush giantess will come to The Playhouse this month.

Award winning Big Telly Theatre Company will explore the myth of giantess Mary Murphy (said to have danced for William of Orange and toured the world as part of a travelling freak show) in their latest production.

'Freak Show'comes to The Playhouse on Friday, March 29.

'Freak Show'comes to The Playhouse on Friday, March 29.

Devised and written by Zoe Seaton and actor Nicky Harley working closely with Newtownards writer Moyra Donaldson ‘Freak Show’ will come to The Playhouse on Friday, March 29.

The script uses material from Moyra Donaldson’s collection ‘Miracle Fruit’ alongside new pieces written for the show.

Freak Show is an incredible display of physical theatre by two masters of the form – Keith Singleton (Soft Border Patrol/BBC) and co-writer Nicky Harley.

The story goes that Mary married a dashing French sea captain who gave up his seafaring life to manage her ‘freak show’ celebrity. But after her years being lauded by international attention, the Portrush giantess eventually died destitute and alone, her celebrity forgotten. Until now.

'Freak Show'comes to The Playhouse on Friday, March 29.

'Freak Show'comes to The Playhouse on Friday, March 29.

Artistic director of Big Telly, Zoe Seaton said: “Mary’s story made us wonder about celebrity culture today and how the whole business of fame has dark edges and corners. Who is exploiting who, and why? And is it really very different from 300 years ago where people were put on show to be stared at.

“It is a fast, absurdly entertaining and raucous piece of theatre that is unique, funny and occasionally uncomfortable. There’s lots of humour in the show but Freak Show walks along a careful tightrope of empathy and emotion never losing sight of its sharp pokes at contemporary obsession with fame and celebrity.”

Big Telly Theatre Company’s ‘Freak Show’ will come to The Playhouse on Friday, March 29 at 8pm. Tickets are £12/ £10 and available from The Playhouse on (028)71268027 or online at www.derryplayhouse.co.uk.