The Millennium Forum is delighted to announce the return of one of the most successful local plays in the theatre’s history when it brings a brand new production of ‘Maire A Woman Of Derry’ on tour this Autumn. Written by Derry playwright, Brian Foster,’ Myra’s Story’ is a new adaptation of the smash hit play that tells the story of an alcoholic woman living rough on the streets – this time, the Dublin streets.
David McLaughlin, Chief Executive of the Millennium Forum is producing the new tour of Myra’s Story.
“I am looking forward to bringing this new production of such a poignant tale to a wider audience. The original Maire hugely engaged with our audiences over the years and I’ve no doubt that Myra will do the same, both here in Derry and further afield.”
Myra Mc Laughlin is a foul-mouthed, feisty, street drinker. She is also immensely funny and self-deprecating. Myra never wallows in self-pity as she gives us a hilarious, moving, and ultimately heartbreaking account of her fall from grace from fresh faced teenage bride living in ‘me da’s corpo house’ in Tallaght, to the pitiful condition we find her in today. You’ll split your sides laughing with Myra. You’ll break your heart crying with Myra. What you’ll never do … is forget her.
Brian Foster said: “People absolutely loved the original version. But I knew it couldn’t go on forever. So, long before it came to its natural end, I was already planning its revival. But I wanted to push the boat out. Wanted to give it a whole new lease of life. So I moved the story from Derry to Dublin. And changed other elements. I would estimate the new version consists of 75% of the old play and 25% new input. And the new title is … MYRA’S STORY. But I’ve been careful to retain all the elements that made the original version such a success, including the shattering Bloody Sunday scene. So theatre goers will get to meet all of the original characters Myra portrays to tell her incredible story. But now they’re colourful Dubliners instead of colourful Derry ‘wans’. This has allowed me to bring some great new comedy into the play, as well as great new tragedy. But to pull it off I had to find myself a great new actor with an authentic Dublin voice.”
Brian went down to Dublin several times to conduct auditions. And finally found his ‘authentic voice’ in Dublin actor, Fionna Hewitt-Twamley, who was recently nominated for an award for her performance in the hilarious Irish comedy movie, Cardboard Gangsters.
Brian Foster: “In Dublin I auditioned a number of actors. Some of them well known faces from television. But couldn’t find anyone with that streetwise grit needed to carry off the role of Myra. Then Fionna walked into the audition room in Dublin’s Temple Bar, and within seconds I knew I had found my new Myra. And I’m over the moon that top Dublin director Michael Scott will direct.”
This new version of the play has already had productions in Canada and America, where it has played to rave reviews and picked up awards, in particular a very prestigious award at New York’s United Solo Festival, the biggest of its kind held anywhere in the world.
Maire A Woman Of Derry was the original record breaking story of an alcoholic woman living rough on the streets of Derry, and featured brilliant performances by Carmel Mc Cafferty. It has played on and off for over twelve years, including internationally, until finally coming to an end in 2013, when Carmel retired from the role. In total it played 145 performances to a combined audience in excess of 45,000 people and never once failed to receive a standing ovation.
Myra’s Story performs at the An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny from Thurs 27th to Sat 29th September and at the Millennium Forum from Thurs 4th to Sat 6th October before embarking on an extensive Irish Tour.