Workshop: Since Maggie Went Away. By Jacqueline Nolan

  • CREA 170 Nieuwe Achtergracht Amsterdam, NH, 1018 WV Netherlands

Since Maggie Went Away 
by Jacqueline Nolan

Please write to Jacqueline if you would like to take part. jacqueline.nolan@xs4all.nl 
Cost of the workshop: free for paid-up InPlayers members, € 5 for others. Payable at the door.


The one-woman version of the piece will be performed again at Perdu, Kloveniersburgwal 86 on 20 and 21 June at 20:00 and during the Edinburgh Fringe at the Space On the Mile, The Radisson Blu, from 11 to 15 August at 12:20

1949: Maggie, an Irish country girl, secretly gives birth to a baby boy and is forced to give him away. 2010: Her journalist daughter discovers a global story on abuse in the Catholic Church is also her family's narrative, and sets out to put flesh on the bones of a past hidden by church, state, media – and shame. Philomena endured a lifetime of separation, Maggie can't face the truth of reunion. A true story of atonement for the sins of others, softened by Irish humour.

Many of you who know me are familiar with my story: in 2010 I discovered I had an older brother. My mother had him as a teenager in a mother-and-baby home in the Irish midlands. When he was two years of age, he was given to a foster family, and my mother was released from the home. Almost 60 years later, he tracked her down and she learned he had been sent to a Catholic home for boys, where he was abused. She died the day my sister and I were due to fly to England to meet up with my brother for the first time.

I wrote a narrative journalism article about these events against the backdrop of the global story on abuse, which was published in national newspapers. It was centred on my brother. Then, one day, the voice of my mother came very clearly to me while I was making dinner. This is the result.

In the workshop, I'd love to explore the different scenes, see which ones work and which don't. I will be taking the piece to Edinburgh in August as a one-woman show, but I certainly want to consider doing it with three actors in the future, and would like to look at that dynamic. I'd love you to join me on this journey on 10 April and beyond.