‘Vaudeville’ Theatre Comes to Sean Hollywood Arts Centre
Sean Hollywood Arts Centre is getting ready to present ‘Freak Show’ on Wednesday 20 March - a play inspired by the true story of a 17th century giant from Portrush, who married a French sea captain and danced for William of Orange.
‘Freak Show’ tells the tale of Mary Murphy and others who were displayed as freaks in 18th century and examines themes of performance, exploitation and consent in an inventive production. Further inspiration came from a poetry collection by Northern Irish writer, Moyra Donaldson which focuses on the 18th century Enlightenment period and physical ‘freakery’ of those who lived on the margins of society.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “This innovative production will challenge us and make us think about our own outlook on life. The play makes it clear that we are not the only generation to be fascinated by celebrity and it does so with humour.”
The play was written by Zoe Seaton and Nicky Harley and uses comedy, visuals and poetic text to tell the stories of the 20 characters. Actors, Nicky Harley and Keith Singleton perform all the roles themselves, effortlessly shifting between accents and costumes.
And while the play is set in a bygone era, it explores the very contemporary themes of celebrity culture, fame and privacy, and its dark undertones. Mary Murphy was celebrated and received international acclaim, only to die forgotten by a world that once lauded her.
The show features original music by Garth McConaghie, and stunning choreography from the team that made The Fairie Thorn.
The performance is appropriate for those aged 12 years and over.