FEBRUARY 22 - MARCH 10

IRISH FESTIVAL EVENTS:

Critical Acclaim

"Rona Munro’s ear for the authentic cut and thrust of Belfast’s unsung heroines is sharp, abrasive and at times downright painful ... it is also celebratory and funny" (Daily Mail).

 

"What a good writer Ms. Munro is. She moves from quick, pointed dialogue to intimate soliloquies; from taut but lyrical metaphors to witty vernacular. . . . What Ms. Munro gets so beautifully is the mix of instinct (our natural temperaments), conditioning (what life does to us) and calculation (how we juggle the two)" (NYT).

 

". . . absorbing, often funny ... exhilarating" (Sunday Telegraph).

 

" . . . steel wool poetry" (theatermania.com).

 

". . . [Munro writes with] a sharp, observational eye, dark comedy and a sense of heightened realism.  . . . The barbed naturalism and gallows humour of the drama are utterly convincing, as is the brave-faced vulnerability . . ." (Scottish Stage).

MEDIA

IRISH FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE PRODUCTION:

BOLD GIRLS

by Rona Munro

FEBRUARY 22 - March 10

THE PLAY

 

Who is the young girl at end of the lane? A ghost, or only ghostly?  And what has she to do with the lives of the three women, IRA "war widows," on whose doorstep she arrives, one rainy evening in 1990 in West Belfast?

Beginning the play with the appearance of this "eerie wraith and threatening interloper"--the teenaged Deirdre--writer Rona Munro mines the gold of Irish storytelling doubly by abruptly shifting the scene to the daily chaos of a small kitchen "piled with ironing . . . damp sheets waiting for a break in the Belfast drizzle . . . pots and pans and steam and the kettle always hot for tea." Presided over with the robust energy and wry humor of Marie and across-the-hall, mother/daughter neighbors Cassie and Nora, we're welcomed in by the familiarity of quick wit and the "boldness" of people who have little to celebrate, but celebrate anyway.

They're hurrying to get to a stopping point in the work so they can treat themselves to a night out at the club, a rare occasion for death-widowed or prison-widowed single-mothers. Nora, too, has lost husband and son.  The sound and flash of bullets and grenades outside their windows, up and down their streets, remind us that "the Troubles" rage.  As for the women, it's part of the everydayness of their lives--their discussion of the commotion up the street is simply about planning an alternative route to arrive at their destination.

Suddenly, a banging at the door.  Enter Deirdre, a strangely silent, almost accusing look about her, a white dress clinging to her small frame, drenched by the rain.  And what Marie thought had been a specter, a "ghost" she'd lately been catching fleeting glimpses of, staring through her window or at her front door from the street, is all too real.

Inexplicably to Cassie and Nora, Marie lets her in, gives her tea, dry clothes--accepted without comment or thanks.  Convinced she's a grifter, Cassie soon bundles her off, and they leave for their night of craic. But the unease Deidre leaves behind grows into a haunting, the night takes on a sinister hue, loneliness and betrayal press in.  And Deirdre is everpresent. None of them one will be the same tomorrow.

Weaving with threads from both the Celtic supernatural and the contemporary psychological, Munro creates a spellbinding story, fired with passion, humor, and the mysteries of the heart.