|New Dates - March 9th - Gala opening night - 7.30pm - Curtain up 8pm|
|Tickets: €15/€12 (students) - further performances 10th, 11th & 12th March|
|Almost sold out- a few tickets left at the box office. Phone 064 6648701|
The Carnegie Players return with 'Semi - Private' by Mary Halpin
Semi-Private was Mary Halpin's first play and it won the 1982 Irish Times/Dublin Theatre Festival award for a play by a woman writer. Her other work for television includes 'Fair City' and “Harbour Hotel” for Radio.
Semi-Private is set in a gynaecological ward of a Dublin hospital. The four patients, a nun, a hard-nosed feminist, a nouveau riche housewife and an outspoken working-class shop girl, all have medical problems that are somewhat a reflection of their individual lifestyles, and may hide deeper psychological problems. In such close proximity to each other, the four women are forced to deal with each other's differences.
Back in 1982, the world was a very different place for women. There were few of us in top jobs or in government; contraception, though available, was limited and abortion of any kind was totally against the law. It was against this social backdrop that I wrote Semi-Private which won the Irish Times/Dublin Festival Award for a play by a female writer.
The play enjoyed a long run at Dublin’s Gate Theatre as well as two national tours in subsequent years. It has also been taken up by many amateur groups and I am delighted that it will now be produced in Kenmare by the Carnegie Players, with my old friend and colleague Ann Shanahan as one of its very capable directors, along with Mary O’Sullivan and Anne-Marie Cleary as producer.
As its name suggests, Semi Private is set in a hospital ward and centres around the lives of four women each of whom has very different views on life. They are also, of course, coming to terms with their individual health concerns. More broadly, the play examines what it was like to be a woman in the nineteen eighties, but I hope that it is done in a light and occasionally moving way.
Semi-Private was the starting block for my career as a writer and I subsequently wrote for RTE radio’s Harbour Hotel and for Fair City on RTE1 on which I was a story and script writer for twenty years. I have also written radio plays for RTE and BBC 4, two further stage plays Shady Ladies and Are You Listening to me Gaybo? as well a novel Passion Flowers (co-written with Sheelagh MacHugh) as well as various short stories for U magazine amongst others.
I am now happily living in the South of England but I am thoroughly looking forward to visiting Kenmare to see the play and to once again enjoy the glorious countryside. I will be opening the play on Friday 2nd March 2018.
The play is on for four nights – Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd, Sunday 4th and Monday 5th March at the Carnegie Arts Centre. Tickets can be purchased online at www.carnegieartskenmare.ie.