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Factory Girls return home to Buncrana 14.02.11

by Caoimhinn Barr, Inishowen Independent

ALMOST 30 years after penning his inaugural drama, 'Factory Girls', celebrated playwright Frank McGuinness is coming home to watch the first ever all-Buncrana version of his acclaimed play.
First staged at Dublin’s legendary Abbey Theatre in 1982, the 2011 version of Factory Girls will be brought to life by local award-winning theatre company, Greasepaint Productions.
Director Donall Henderson had the inside his track; his mother Marie is a cousin of Frank McGuinness.
“I consulted with Frank first to make sure that the play would be as authentic as possible. We have decided to go with the original script while putting our own slant on it,” he said.
A self-confessed ‘huge fan’ of McGuinness’ work, Donal, aged 8, saw one of the first productions of Factory Girls at Derry’s Guildhall in 1982. He is proud to direct the first all-Buncrana version of the hit play to be staged in the Inishowen town.
“I am delighted to be involved in the project and it is an absolute honour to direct the play in Frank McGuinness’ hometown of Buncrana,” Donall said.
“Frank has been an inspiration to many people and his success demonstrates that people with artistic ability and creative flair are well respected in Irish society. This has also been recognised in his recent honour by Buncrana Town Council as a freeman of Buncrana and we, as a group wanted to acknowledge his contribution to the development of theatre and the arts. We are also very excited that this will be our first touring production with performances planned for The Playhouse Derry, An Grianan Letterkenny and Belfast,” he added.
A scene from Greasepaint Productions' upcoming 'Factory Girls' written by Buncrana playwright, Frank McGuinness.
The main focus of McGuinness’ drama centres around the livelihood of five women in a local shirt factory, threatened by a recession. With rapier sharp wit and huge heart, the women pull together as one and take on the might of big business.
With rehearsals going well, Donall, assisted by Emma Porter, said the current cast is well placed to deliver some memorable performances.
“Everyone in the cast has some connection to factory life so the play is highly appropriate for us to do. My mother and grandmother worked in McCarter’s and Fruit of the Loom as did many of the cast members,” he said.
Factory Girls will run in St Mary’s Hall, Buncrana from Saturday 2nd – Thursday 7th April. All seats priced at €10. Booking office will open from Wednesday 30th March 2011.
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