The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII Comes to Cork
By acclaimed award-winning playwrights Mary Moynihan, Deirdre Kinahan, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Paul Kennedy
Imagined recreation of moments from the lives of women in WWII
‘Brilliant, moving, eye opening journey into stories of women’s bravery tonight. Well done to all involved’, Sarah Glennane, audience Member
Following a highly successful run in Germany as part of an international tour and a national and cross-border tour, The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII can now be seen at the Mall Arts Centre, Youghal, County Cork on 15 January 2019 at 7.30pm.
Featuring guest speaker Clodagh Finn, feature writer, editor, trainer and author speaking about her book A Time to Risk All, the incredible untold story of Mary Elmes, the Irish woman who saved children from the Nazi concentration camps.
The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII is a creative reimagining of moments from the lives of women during WWII recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against Fascism and totalitarianism and refused to accept oppression. The performance is followed by a post-show discussion with the artists and invited guest speakers to explore powerful women’s stories in history and themes of gender equality and peace.
Women’s stories that have inspired the performance include Mary Elmes (1908-2002), a Cork woman who was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving Jewish children from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II; Ettie Steinberg (1914-42)the only female Jewish Irish citizen known to have been murdered in Auschwitz; Marta Hillers (1911-2001) from Germany who wrote her autobiography Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) under the name ‘Anonyma’ (Anonymous), detailing her experiences of the last days of WWII as she and over one million other women were raped and abused by Allied soldiers of the Red Army; Neus Català Pallejà (b.1915) from Spain, a member of the United Socialist Party of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, an active collaborator with the French Resistance during WWII and the only living Spanish survivor of Ravensbrück concentration camp for women; Maria Eugenia Jasińska (1906-43) from Łódź in Poland who worked for the resistance and gave up her own life rather than ‘name names’; and Dolores Ibárruri, or La Pasionaria (1895-1989), from Spain, a revolutionary leader, political activist, communist and crusader against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War who created the famous cry ‘They Shall Not Pass’.
- ‘It was just brilliant! The two actors were phenomenal. Well done to everyone involved!’ – Niamh Clowry, audience member
- ‘Such a moving piece of theatre. The performances were excellent.’ – Sabina Coyne Higgins
- ‘The piece of theatre was so moving I cried. What wonderful stories and very important.’ – Raphaela Kula, audience member, Germany
- ‘The emotive performances pulled me in immediately to each story. Thank you.’ – Nicole Nagel, audience member, Germany
- ‘Beautiful performances from the actors, I loved it.’ – Zee Upitis, Audience Member, Germany
- ‘I think the work Smashing Times are doing is brilliant. Important issues being addressed while maintaining a level of artistic excellence is great.’ – John Paul McGrogarty, audience member and director, Leith Theatre, Scotland
- ‘Thank you to Smashing Times for wonderful performances and presentations. It has been a pleasure to have you at the festival.’ – Ralph Wurfel, audience member and festival coordinator, Theaterlabor, Germany
- ‘I’m amazed I never heard those stories before. It was so interesting, thank you for a wonderful performance’ Elaine Cronin, audience member
- ‘Thanks to all the cast and crew of The Woman is Present! What a wonderful evening’ Mary Duffin, audience member
What the papers say on the work of the company:
- ‘Fascinating, executed by the innovative and dynamic Smashing Times Theatre.’
The Irish Times
- ‘The plays are true theatre… Extraordinary. Smashing Times must continue with it’
Tuesday 15 January 2019, The Mall Arts Centre, Youghal 7.30pm
Booking from http://themallartscentre.com/
T: +353 (0) 24 81823 M: +353 (0) 87 959 3276
Tickets €12/€10 conc.
The performance is followed by a post-show panel discussion with the artists and featuring invited guest speaker Clodagh Finn, writer, editor, trainer and author, who will be speaking about her book A Time to Risk All, the incredible untold story of Mary Elmes, the Irish woman who saved children from the Nazi concentration camps. Books available at a discounted price for this event only.
When, in 2016, Clodagh saw a performance of The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII, she was so moved by the evocative portrayal of Mary Elmes that she set about piecing together the real-life story of how this courageous Cork woman saved hundreds of lives in Franco’s Spain and Nazi-occupied France. She trawled archives in Paris, London and the US and managed to track down several of the refugees that Mary saved as children. She tells of this in a new biography, A Time to Risk All, the incredible untold story of Mary Elmes, the Irish woman who saved children from Nazi Concentration Camps, now published by Gill Books.
The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII
By Mary Moynihan, Deirdre Kinahan, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Paul Kennedy
Directed by Mary Moynihan and Bairbre Ni Chaoimh
Cast: Róisín Mc Atamney and Fiona Bawn Thompson with Margaret Toomey, Ella Brady, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Romana Testasecca featuring on film.
Production Team: Tara Doolan, Set Design and Projection/AV Programme; Risa Ando, Costume Design, Cillian McNamara, Lighting Design
This project is supported by Cork County Council, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Creative Ireland under the Creative Ireland County Cork Grant Scheme 2018 implemented by Cork County Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The project plays a part in promoting County Cork’s culture and is under the Creative Ireland programme strand of Creative Industries and Community Participation (Strand Two), meeting the County Cork Culture and Creative Priorities in relation to liberating creativity (inclusivity and new participants); knowing ourselves – knowing our traditions; community engagement in culture and creativity and showcasing County Cork’s culture and creativity.
For further information contact
Tamar Keane, Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company
Tel: + 353 (0) 1 865 6613 Tel: + 353 (0) 85 786 2108