Sisters is the title of a groundbreaking new Irish musical that will open at the dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum on Saturday, September 24th. Set in 1971 against the backdrop of Catholic Ireland and the rise of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement, the show revolves around the story of a young single mother, Bernadette Boland, shunned by her community, as she embarks on her journey toward self-empowerment. Both entertaining and deeply moving, the musical celebrates the pioneering women of the past and pays homage to those who lit the fire of change in Ireland.
The new musical has been written and directed by Tracy Ryan with musical direction by Kaeylea B. VanKeith. Speaking ahead of the opening, Ryan remarked:
“I came across the activities of the women’s movement, and was really blown away. From the contraceptive train to Belfast, to the Late Late Show appearance, the various public meetings and protests at the Pro-Cathedral. This year of activities in 1971 sets the backdrop of the musical, where our fictional character Bernadette Boland must negotiate the difficulties of being a single mother at a time when society views it as something deeply shameful”.
Much of the show is set in “Gaj's”, a restaurant that existed on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin. The establishment hosted the weekly meetings of the Irish Women's Liberation Movement (IWLM):
“Margaret Gaj, the proprietor of Gaj’s on Baggot Street, was one of the founders of the IWLM. In ‘Sisters’, Bernadette gets a job in Gaj’s and it’s through these support structures that her personal story begins to develop. We are fortunate to have an incredible cast for this production at The Mill. Most of them are under the age of 30 and have fantastic energy and passion, evoking the spirit of the times in which the show is set.”
The show's musical director Kaeylea B. VanKeith hopes that the show will be inspiring to people of all ages and believes that the story is an important one for younger generations:
“We wanted to honour the women that have gone before us, not just the central figures in the IWLM but to show how movements and mobilisation ripple outward to change a country and all our lives. It was a dark period in our history, but the show is highly entertaining and accessible. It’s important that we are aware that so many of our basic rights had to be fought for. We would encourage audiences to come and be inspired.”
Sisters is produced by Kate Canning, DLR Mill Theatre and kindly supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Local Live Performance Programming Scheme.
The show will preview on 23rd September at 7.30pm and Saturday 24th September at 2.30pm, will open to the public that evening on September 24th at 7:30pm and will run from October 4th-8th at 7.30pm each night with a matinée performance on 8th October at 2.30pm. Tickets €22-€25
For further information visit milltheatre.ie
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