Powerful Magdalene play premiers at Civic Theatre

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A NEW play, which centers on two Magdalene women who are digging a hole in a park in the shadow of the last Magdalene Laundry in public ownership, located on Sean McDermott Street in the inner city, will premiere in the Civic Theatre next week.

The women in ‘We Don’t Know What’s Buried Here’ are trying to unearth different things, with Tina (Grace Dyas) digging to find the truth, and Bernadette (Doireann Coady) digging to find her baby’s body.

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The powerful play got its name from a response Dublin City councillor Gary Gannon gave when it was announced that the former Magdalene Laundry site was being sold by Dublin City Council to a Japanese hotel group in the wake of the Tuam babies case.

The women diligently dig every day, yet they keep burying everything they find – a metaphor for Irish society’s response during the existence of the Magdalene Laundries.

Grace, who also wrote the play, said: “My character's journey in the play examines the risks of digging to expose the truth, legal action, and the ruination of one’s good name.

“So why keep going? Should we keep digging to expose our past?

“Or in a world where everything public will soon become private, should we just enjoy the few trees we have left?”

The play looks at class, value and work, and was inspired by the women Grace met through her activism with the Dublin Honours Magdalenes campaign.

‘What Don’t Know What’s Buried Here’ is supported by Dublin Honours Magdalenes, Jobstown Not Guilty and Senator Lynn Ruane.

The play will be performed from February 15 to 17, with shows at 8pm each night and a 5pm show on Friday, February 16 with a post-show discussion following each performance.

Tickets are €18 or €16 concession, and are available online at www.civictheatre.ie

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