These women are seeking a new life and a better future, but can they escape their past?
Set on a ship, bound for Australia, Belfast Girls tells the story of five of Earl Grey’s Irish ‘orphans’. In the 1850s thousands of Irish girls were given the chance to travel to Australia to escape the famine, and to find a better life under Lord Earl Grey’s ‘orphan scheme’. They were being sent to Australia as cheap labour, as indentured servants. These hopeful women arrived in Australia, looking for a chance to start fresh, only to be labeled whores and thieves. These extraordinary women are part of our history, helping to shape the Australia we know today.
Directed by Critics Circle Award winning director Jordan Best, with original music by Matt Webster (award winning composer for Pigeonhole theatre’s Playhouse Creatures), and featuring a cast of some of our regions most exceptional actors, Belfast Girls is a play that will excite, intrigue and entertain. These bawdy Irish women face their uncertain future with strength, humour, and an irrepressible spirit.
Award winning playwright Jaki McCarrick (2010 Papatango Prize for New Writing) developed Belfast Girls at the National Theatre Studio. It deals with themes of class, race and misogyny through the turbulent, and at times terrifying, journey of these women’s lives which are in one moment heartbreaking and the next humorous.