Most likely if you lived in Cookstown or its surrounds you knew someone – a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, an aunt, a best friend – who worked in either the Daintifyt or Fisher’s Hat Factory, and to this day, many people know someone who worked as a ‘factory girl’, or were one themselves.
First produced at the Abbey Theatre, Millennium Forum Productions will bring their production of ‘The Factory Girls’ to the Burnavon in Cookstown on Thursday 23rd May at 8pm. ‘The Factory Girls’ is a play written by Donegal playwright, Frank McGuinness that celebrates the working class culture of women, which drew inspiration from his grandmother, mother and aunt’s experience working in the local shirt factories of Buncrana where he grew up. His work is filled with humanity, his sense of politics and his ability to tell a good story.
‘The Factory Girls’ tells the story of five women who stage a lock–in at a shirt factory in Co. Donegal when faced with the threat of redundancy. Ellen, Una, Vera, Rosemary and Rebecca are five strong and independent women who take on the boss and the union.
What draws the play together is a generous sympathy with the five women’s foibles in all their forms and the competing pressures they face, torn between work and home – something that is still relevant today.
The characters have tongues that could tar roads – the evening’s chief pleasure lies in their workplace banter and bickering. “You’ll thank me when you’re dying for a chip,” says one of the women, arriving at the lock–in armed with half a kitchen. These “girls” may never get back their jobs, but their brief adventure has brought each of them the insight that will give them the courage to soldier on.
Receiving rave reviews, and described as a truly realistic play filled with humour, charm, fine acting and staging, this brand new production for 2013 is directed by Caitriona McLaughlin and features a host of talented Irish actors including Lucia McAnespie, Noelle Brown, Stella McCusker, Kerrie O’Sullivan, Cathleen Bradley, Sean Donegan and Howard Teale.
To book your tickets for the performance or find out more about the Daintifyt and Fishers Hat Factory Girls of Cookstown project, contact the Burnavon Box Office on 028 8676 9949 or online at www.burnavon.com. Tickets for The Factory Girls performance cost £13 and are available now.