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FOREWORD Sole Purpose Productions has earned an almost peerless reputation in Northern Ireland over the last 21 years for producing dynamic and challenging theatre that is unafraid to confront the most challenging issues of our times. Domestic violence, abuse of the elderly, addiction, human trafficking, gender politics, mental health - all heavyweight material that has been tackled with the deftest of touches. Theirs is the kind of art that helps us to understand the world around us, asks us to walk in another person’s shoes, compels us to confront our prejudices and preconceptions. This is theatre with a strong sense of social responsibility, which resonates beyond mainstream theatre audiences to the heart of the local community. As principal funder for the past two decades, the Arts Council is proud to be associated with Sole Purpose’s achievement and we welcome this opportunity to join them in celebrating 21 years of creating high-quality, socially-engaged, professional theatre.

Roisín McDonough Chief Executive Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Tickets available at www.derryplayhouse.co.uk 2


WELCOME It is with great pride that I introduce, and celebrate, Sole Purpose 21 Years Festival of Theatre for Social Change! Sole Purpose Productions was established in 1997 by Dave Duggan and myself in Derry Londonderry, and remains the only professional theatre company dedicated to the production of new writing and theatre on contemporary social and public issues, in the North West of Ireland. I am thrilled that we have the pleasure of hosting some leading companies in Theatre for Social Change at our festival including Red Ladder Theatre Company, Smashing Times and Collective Encounters. These companies have a common denominator with us – to use the imagination to investigate and illuminate social and public issues. It is without any question or doubt that the support and collaboration Sole Purpose has received over the years from those in the creative industries; social activists; audience members; partner organisations; board members; sponsors and funders - has contributed hugely to the position that we are in today. It is thanks to them that we are putting this festival on to celebrate what we have achieved, and what we continue to offer. The arts can have a meaningful social impact on communities and individuals and the scope of our outreach has ranged from small rural community centres to work in San Francisco, New York and Seattle. No matter the size of the audience our goal has always been clear: to offer the stage to those whose story has not yet been told and to investigate the society we live in.

Patricia Byrne Artistic Director Sole Purpose Productions

I want to give an extended thanks to Derry City & Strabane District Council, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Theatre NI for supporting this festival, as well as The Derry Playhouse. Over the past couple of years there has been a significant shift in attitudes towards tolerance, acceptance, equality and solidarity for those who are marginalised in our communities locally and internationally. The timing of our festival is coincidental, but the significance of what Sole Purpose does is more pertinent now than ever, and I hope that you will enjoy what the festival has to offer and celebrate with Sole Purpose what we have achieved over our 21 years. 3 3


OPENING EVENT

EXHIBITION LAUNCH

Lisa Fitzpatrick

Patricia Byrne

We will be kicking off the festival with an exhibition of the work that Sole Purpose has done over the past 21 years. Photos, posters, scripts and memorabilia of the plays and projects we have created, the issues we have tackled, and the impact of the work. To help celebrate this milestone and to reflect on our achievements we will hear from our current Chairperson: Senior Lecturer of Drama at Ulster University Magee Campus and founding member of the Irish Society for Theatre Research Lisa Fitzpatrick; novelist, dramatist, writer of Oscar nominated Dance Lexie Dance and co-founder of Sole Purpose Productions Dave Duggan; and Patricia Byrne our current Artistic Director and co-founder.

WED 21 FEBRUARY PLAYHOUSE 7PM ADMISSION FREE

Dave Duggan

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THE LIFE AND SOUL Written by Chris O‘Connor Presented by Red Ladder Theatre Company Jim’s always been a bit of a character, just like his Dad, and spends most of his life between the bookies, the pub and the football. He’s always had this lingering feeling though that he doesn’t quite fit into this world, that there’s something different about him, something wrong... Jim’s never told his story to anyone before, but tonight he’s going to tell it to you...’ Written by Chris O’ Connor (Marching on Embers, Buglight Theatre, 2017) and performed by Richard Galloway. Red Ladder is a radical theatre company celebrating 50 years this year. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice whose history is rooted in the era of riots, demonstrations and revolts. They aim to help people make sense of the world and understand the power that they and their communities have to change it. Siobhan O’Neill

Rod Dixon

THURS 22 FEBRUARY PLAYHOUSE 8PM TICKETS : £10 6

This play explores mental health. After the performance Rod Dixon, Artistic Director of Red Ladder will give a talk on making theatre about mental health. Siobhan O’Neill, Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University, will give a presentation on her experience of working with Sole Purpose on Blinkered by Patricia Byrne. Blinkered tackles the issue of depression and suicide in young men, it toured successfully in Ireland in 2016/17. Performances of The Life and Soul will take place in community venues around the city, contact Sole Purpose for more information.


EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE Written and directed by Patricia Byrne Performed by Aoibh Johnson Jenni’s 16th birthday is coming up, and her new boyfriend Jamie will be there. He is so nice. He is interested in everything she does. He always wants to know where she is and what she is doing. He texts her all the time and follows her every move on Facebook. But things start to take a turn, and Jenni isn’t so sure anymore. The play follows the ups and downs of a young woman’s relationship as it goes from being near perfect to becoming an impossible nightmare. The production explores the issue of abusive relationships among young people. It was developed in consultation with Youth Action NI, NSPCC, Women’s Aid and pupils at Oakgrove Integrated College. First produced in 2012 it was directed by Nicky Harley and performed by Gemma Walker. The performance will run for 50 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A for 30 minutes with the actor, writer/director and representatives from Foyle Women’s Aid / NSPCC.

THURS 22 FEBRUARY

“This was a very moving piece of theatre. The aim is to disturb and that was achieved fully. None watching this

PLAYHOUSE 10.30AM TICKETS : £5

play would ever again be victim to such abuse having witnessed a relay of classic symptoms.” Imelda Foley, Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 7


MASTERCLASS O N T H E AT R E F O R SOCIAL CHANGE Collective Encounters Workshop Facilitated by Sarah Thornton Sarah is the founding Artistic Director of Collective Encounters, a professional arts organisation specialising in Theatre for Social Change. Sarah established the company in 2004 as a practice-asresearch initiative whilst she was a theatre lecturer at Liverpool Hope University. Her research aimed to explore theatre’s potential as a tool for personal and political change, and to find its immediacy in the Twenty-First Century. The company now has a deeprooted participatory programme across the North West of England and an excellent reputation nationally and internationally. Collective Encounters successfully combines Sarah’s varied background, including applied work in diverse community contexts, directing fringe and professional theatre, developing new work and practice-as-research. Sarah leads on the creative and research aspects of the company’s work, and writes many of its plays.

Sarah Thornton

FRI 23 FEBRUARY PLAYHOUSE 2-4.30PM TICKETS : £20 8

This workshop is a masterclass on Theatre for Social Change designed for actors, facilitators & activists. It will describe the Theatre for Social Change field and introduce the ideology that underpins it. The session will involve tutor presentation, group discussion and action learning sets. Resource and follow-up materials will be available to take away. The workshop is limited to 20 people so book early to avoid disappointment! Contact Sole Purpose at solepurpose@mac.com.


SOLE PURPOSE 21 YEARS REHEARSED READINGS Join us for a journey through our 21 years! Sole Purpose has never been afraid to address difficult and sensitive issues. In our 21 years we have explored Loyalist marching, political exprisoners and victims, policing, domestic violence, sexual abuse, elder abuse, climate change, ethnic minority issues, LGBT issues, disability issues and most recently mental health and suicide. This will be an evening of memories, laughs and poignant moments presenting a selection of readings from past productions with input from partner organisations, academics and artists who have been involved with the work over the years. We will explore the social impact of the work. Dave Duggan will do a presentation of the setting up and early years of Sole Purpose. Patricia Byrne will address the later years. Patricia Byrne is a co-founder and Artistic Director of Sole Purpose. She has written seven plays for the company including the most recent Blinkered which toured Ireland in 2017 to great acclaim. She has produced and managed many productions which have toured extensively throughout Ireland and the UK. She has taken work to San Francisco, Seattle and New York.

FRI 23 FEBRUARY PLAYHOUSE 8PM TICKETS : £10

Dave Duggan is a co-founder of Sole Purpose and was co-Artistic Director 1997 - 2008. He is a dramatist and novelist, writing in English and in Irish. His latest book is RELATED LIVES - an imagined memoir, published by Guildhall Press in 2016. His most recent stage plays are : DENIZEN (CE, 2015), which toured court-houses and MAKARONIK (Aisling Ghéar, 2014), which toured Ireland. His film and on-line work includes the Oscar nominated Dance Lexie Dance (Raw Nerve Productions, 1996). His political comedy, Comhairleoirí, went on-line for BBC in 2011. He wrote the pilot episode for Na Deich nAitheanta (Ulysses Films, 2010). This will be an exciting and memorable journey through our history!

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SOLE PURPOSE T H E AT R E L A B WITH GUEST DIRECTOR ROD DIXON Sole Purpose is known for its Theatre Labs which the company have been running for 18 years and which have developed many new writers. This special Theatre Lab will feature Rod Dixon, Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company, as the guest director. Rod became Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company in 2006, following his role as associate director at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. He also ran The Hub Theatre School in Cornwall and was an actor with several companies including Kneehigh Theatre. Directing credits for Red Ladder include Where’s Vietnam?, Forgotten Things, Riot, Rebellion & Bloody Insurrection, Ugly, Sex & Docks & Rock ‘N’ Roll, Big Society! and Promised Land.

Rod Dixon

SAT 24 FEBRUARY PLAYHOUSE 12noon - 4pm £40 to partake, £5 to observe. 10

Do you have a script you are working on that deals with themes of social change? Would you like to experiment with it with professional actors and a renowned director? Then submit 5 pages of your script and a 5 line synopsis by the deadline 12th February. We are also offering places for people who would like to observe the workshop. If you would like to take part or observe please contact Sole Purpose at solepurpose@mac.com Limited places available so book early to avoid disappointment!


THE WOMAN IS PRESENT: WOMEN‘S STORIES OF WWII Smashing Times Theatre Company The Woman is Present: Women Stories of WWII – Re-imagined moments from the lives of women in WWII by Deirdre Kinahan, Fiona Bawn Thompson, Mary Moynihan and Paul Kennedy. The performances are about the lives of women in WWII recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as powerful women stood up against Fascism and totalitarianism and refused to accept oppression.

SAT 24 FEBRUARY PLAYHOUSE 8PM TICKETS : £10

The company was established in 1991 by a group of women actors, who met at the Focus Theatre, Dublin. These women were interested in challenging the elitist position that theatre sometimes holds in Irish society. Smashing Times is a professional theatre and film company involved in performance, training and participation. The work is underpinned by a rightsbased approach and a commitment to artistic excellence and social engagement developing innovative, cutting edge, state of the art projects that promote social justice, gender equality and human rights through high quality artistic processes. 11


D E B AT E : T H E AT R E

SAT 24 FEBRUARY

FOR SOCIAL

PLAYHOUSE 9.30PM ADMISSION FREE

CHANGE Join us for a debate on the significance of theatre for social change in today’s current climate. The debate will be chaired by Dave Duggan with a panel including Patricia Byrne (Sole Purpose), Mary Moynihan (Smashing Times), Rod Dixon (Red Ladder), Sarah Thornton (Collective Encounters) and Niamh Flanagan (Theatre NI).

Patricia Byrne

Artistic Director of Sole Purpose Productions Patricia is a producer, director, writer and co-founder of Sole Purpose. She has written seven plays for Sole Purpose Productions including the most recent Blinkered which toured Ireland in early 2017 to great acclaim. Her play, Don’t Say A Word, was nominated for an Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008. She was awarded the Noel Walsh Freedom Award in 2012 for making a significant contribution to LGBT rights through theatre. She has produced and managed many productions which have toured extensively throughout Ireland and the UK and has staged work in the USA.

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Dave Duggan

Co-founder of Sole Purpose Productions, Co-Artistic Director 1997 – 2008 Dave Duggan is a dramatist and novelist, writing in English and in Irish. His most recent stage plays are: DENIZEN (CE, 2015), which toured court-houses and MAKARONIK (Aisling Ghéar, 2014), which toured Ireland. Guildhall Press publish his novels, The Greening of Larry Mahon (2004) and A Sudden Sun, (Guildhall Press, 2012). They also published the play text, DENIZEN, in 2014. His film and on-line work includes the Oscar nominated Dance Lexie Dance (Raw Nerve Productions, 1996). His political comedy, Comhairleoirí, went on-line for BBC in 2011. He wrote the pilot episode for Na Deich nAitheanta (Ulysses Films, 2010).

Mary Moynihan

Artistic Director of Smashing Times Theatre Company Mary is a founding member and current Artistic Director of Smashing Times Theatre Company. Mary’s theatre work takes place in both


professional and non-traditional theatre spaces. She is interested in intra-art collaborative practices and is the author of four new drama workshop models to promote anti-racism, anti-sectarianism, human rights and gender equality and storytelling to promote reconciliation. She has also co-designed theatre models called Acting for the Future, a project that uses theatre to promote positive mental health and suicide prevention run by Smashing Times in partnership with the Samaritans and the Irish Association of Suicidology.

Rod Dixon

Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company Rod became Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company in 2006, following his role as associate director at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. He also ran The Hub Theatre School in Cornwall and was an actor with several companies including Kneehigh Theatre. Directing credits for Red Ladder include Where’s Vietnam?, Forgotten Things, Riot, Rebellion & Bloody Insurrection, Ugly, Sex & Docks & Rock ‘N’ Roll, Big Society! and Promised Land. Rod is both a life-long Liverpool supporter and a believer in Proudhon’s principles of anarchy – the two might be connected.

Sarah Thornton

Artistic Director of Collective Encounters Sarah is founding Artistic Director of Collective Encounters, a professional arts organisation specialising in Theatre for Social Change. Sarah established the company in 2004 as a practice-as-research initiative whilst she was a theatre lecturer at Liverpool Hope University. Her research aimed to explore theatre’s potential as a tool for personal and political change, and to find its immediacy in the Twenty-First Century. Within two years demand for the work led to Collective Encounters becoming a full time concern. The company now has a deep-rooted participatory programme across the North West of England and an excellent reputation nationally and internationally.

Niamh Flanagan

Theatre NI Niamh is the Executive Director of Theatre NI and has worked in the arts sector for over 20 years in a variety of different roles. Theatre NI is the representative body to support and develop theatre and the performing arts for all in Northern Ireland. Theatre NI aims to create a vibrant, healthy theatre sector by supporting its members and wider sector to encourage participation in theatre and performing arts. A key priority is ensuring the accessibility of theatre throughout the human lifecycle.


WRAP PARTY

CL O SI NG PA RTY

SAT 24 FEBRUARY SANDINOS UPSTAIRS BACK BAR 10.30PM ADMISSION : FREE 14

After debating the do’s and dont’s, the highs and lows, the passion and fury of all things societal in performance arts, we will be wrapping up the festival in Sandinos where we will have Lost Soul Presents all things R&B, Motown, Ska and Soul. So come, unwind, share, laugh and mingle as we end the festival on a high having shared stories, developed new friendships and championed social causes.


Thank you to all those who have contributed to the festival in any way – Red Ladder Theatre Company, Collective Encounters, Smashing Times Rod Dixon, Siobhan O’Neill, Bridie Sheridan, Eva Urban, Bill McDonnell, Fadl Mustapha, John Harkin, Eva Urban, Dessie Gallagher, John Mulkeen, Sorcha Shanahan, Gemma Walker, Glen Dagda, Shauna Kelpie, Debbie Caulfield, The Rainbow Project, NSPCC, Women’s Aid, Jeanette Warke, Oliver Green, Declan Gallagher, Helen Quigley, Rory McSwiggan, Danny Kelly Board of Directors: Lisa Fitzpatrick, Ciara O’Connell, Maureen McLaughlin, Jim Doherty The funders: Derry City and Strabane District Council, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Theatre NI. Thank you to Edel Murphy for accessing the funding for the festival. The Derry Playhouse, Sandinos Cafe Bar

Sole Purpose Productions is a registered charity no NIC100618 We rely on funders and sponsors to continue our meaningful and important work in communities We can help businesses to meet their Corporate Social Responsibility agenda Your business can help to effect social change in the wider community We can increase your contribution through gift aid

If you would like to sponsor Sole Purpose or make a donation please contact: Sole Purpose Productions 5-7 Artillery Street Derry Londonderry BT48 6RG

E: solepurpose@mac.com T: +44 (0) 28 7127 9918 www.solepurpose.org Sole Purpose Productions @SolePurpose_

Sole Purpose is a company limited by guarantee registration number NI37481

Design & Print by Missprint T. 0792 7898 726 www.missprintdesign.co.uk

Sole Purpose Productions 21 Years Festival of Theatre for Social Change  

Here's our programme! To celebrate theatre specialising in 'Social Change' we've got a festival on to celebrate Sole Purposes 21st birthday...

Sole Purpose Productions 21 Years Festival of Theatre for Social Change  

Here's our programme! To celebrate theatre specialising in 'Social Change' we've got a festival on to celebrate Sole Purposes 21st birthday...

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