The year is 1850. Belfast, Ireland. Two hundred women are departing on a ship bound for Australia under the Orphan Emigration Scheme initiated by Henry Grey, the 3rd Earl Grey. Escaping workhouses and poorhouses overpopulated during the Great Famine, they are set to become “mistresses of their own destiny” as servants, farm workers – and, indeed, wives – in the Colonies.
Belfast Girls by Irish playwright Jaki McCarrick focuses on five of the most “notorious and riotous” of these women and their three-month journey in the bowels of the Inchinnan ship. In all, over 4,000 young women left Ireland on ships bound for Australia, as part of the Orphan Emigration Scheme. This materialist feminist piece navigates ideas of identity, among themes of class, race and gender oppression, with a unique and poignant exploration of female relationships. Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning Irish writer of plays, poetry and fiction. English Theatre Düsseldorf are excited to introduce German audiences to her writing for the first time for 10 performances in March 2024 at the Weltkunstzimmer, Düsseldorf.More information
English Theatre Düsseldorf (ETD) is an all female-run, not-for-profit, English language theatre company located in the capital city of North Rhein Westphalia: Düsseldorf, Germany. The company was founded in January 2018 by Rosie Thorpe (UK/DE) and Ilya Parenteau (USA).
ETD has performed in its home town, Düsseldorf, as well as Frankfurt, DE and Reading, UK; Düsseldorf’s twin town. ETD also regularly runs theatre workshops all over the region of North Rhine Westphalia. Its mission is to bring artistically excellent professional English-language theatre to international audiences; to provide meaningful international cultural experiences; to facilitate cultural exchange; and to foster arts appreciation and artistic expression in people of all ages.
ETD is committed to supporting the already vital and growing international cultural landscape of Düsseldorf and the region of North Rhine Westphalia through the arts. They achieve their vision by collaborating with international artists; programming a diverse season that includes new and developing work, as well as European premieres of international plays; and as empowering the community through theatre workshops for adults and children.