Voyage Of The Orphans Centre Stage At The Belltable

From: Dunphy PR
Published: Tue Jan 19 2010

The performances on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st January follow a successful three-night run at the Honey Fitz Theatre in Lough Gur during December.

The film and play tell the poignant true story of the 4,000 famine orphans who were transported from Irish workhouses to Australia between 1848 and 1850. Work on the project commenced in March 2009 and involved over 50 members of the local community in east Limerick, including 28 full-time members of the Youth Theatre. The idea to explore migration developed out of a series of workshops, facilitated by drama and arts specialist Fiona Quinn.

According to Fiona Quinn: "During the premier staging and screening of the play and film in the Honey Fitz Theatre, the audiences were visibly moved by the powerfulness of this true story of famine orphans being re-enacted by 21st century adolescents. Voyage of the Orphans also has attracted significant interest from other youth theatres who have heard about the sheer scale and authenticity of the project."

Commenting on the background to the project, Ms. Quinn stated: "Arising out of the workshops was an interest and keenness among the Youth Theatre members to make a film and devise a play on the theme of migration. We successfully applied for a Youth Initiative Grant under the European Youth in Action scheme to help them research and produce the film and three-act play."

She continued: "Looking at our own history of forced migration, the County Limerick Youth Theatre focused on the poignant true story of the 4,000 Irish famine orphans who were transported from the Irish workhouses to Australia during the Great Famine. This story of our past helped draw parallels between our nation’s experience of migration and the plight of migrants today. "

The County Limerick Youth Theatre was originally founded 14 years ago and is an initiative of Limerick County Council.

Speaking ahead of this week’s performances, County Limerick Arts Officer Joan Mc Kernan said the Youth Theatre has grown from strength to strength since its establishment fourteen years ago. "We established the Honey Fitz branch in Lough Gur four years ago to allow young people living in a rural isolated area direct access to the arts. There are now 28 full time members of the youth theatre aged between 13 -18 years old. We are always open to new members", she commented.

‘Voyage of the Orphans’ is showing at The Belltable, 36 Cecil Street, Limerick, on Wednesday and Thursday 20th and 21st January 2010. Tickets: EUR10/5. Starts 8pm. Bookings on 061 319866 or email

For more on the County Limerick Youth Theatre contact the Limerick County Council Arts Office on 061 496 498 / 496 300


Notes To Editor:
- High resolution images relating to this story may be downloaded from
- Fiona Quinn, Arts & Drama Facilitator ON 086 8246915 AND Joan Mac Kernan, Limerick County Arts Officer (061 -496498/496300) are available for interview and further comment
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or

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