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Baglady Heads for RET Studio, 14 March

Award-winning Workin Girls return to The Studio at the Royal Exchange Theatre to present Baglady – written by one of Ireland’s leading playwrights Frank McGuinness and starring Joan Kempson.

Performed as a monologue by Kempson, the play tells the story of one woman’s alienation from society; revealed through surreal ramblings and fragmented memories, which gradually crystallise into an autobiographical tale of love and violence, repression and loss.

The play also explores the conditions and circumstances which caused a gentle woman to become estranged from her life, while giving the audience a glimpse into the terrifying events which led to this isolation.

Written in McGuinness’ distinctive and powerful style, with savage poetic imagery, she sifts through the detritus of her troubled past and moves towards a revelation of the events that shaped her life.

Kempson, has appeared at the Royal Exchange in Everybody Loves a Winner and Rutherford and Son. She is also a familiar face from her appearances in Coronation Street, Clocking Off and Early Doors, and was nominated for Best Actress at the Manchester Evening News Awards for her performance in Workin Girls Iron in The Studio.

Writer Frank McGuinness lives in Dublin and lectures at University College. His plays include The Factory Girls, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Innocence and Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. He has also written new versions of classic dramas, including works by Ibsen, Chekhov and Euripides and wrote the screenplay for the film of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa.

Directed by Thusitha Jayasundra, who came to the UK in 1991 from Sri Lanka where she designed, directed and performed in numerous productions of Shakespeare and classical Greek theatre. Since completing the three year acting course at RADA, she has worked extensively as a theatre actor for the RSC, Young Vic and National Theatre. She has also appeared as a regular character in several television series. This is her UK directorial debut.

Baglady is at the Royal Exchange Theatre Studio space from 14 March – 17 March 2012 as part of the Manchester Irish Festival 2012 which runs from 2 March - 18 March.


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