The Girls of Dublin Town is a night of music and theatre that continues tonight at the Sugar Club in Dublin. It is based on the play ‘Ladies Night’ which was staged as part of the Five Lamps festival last year, and has been extended for this new production. One interesting part of this production is that there is a guest singer each night, with Caroline Moreau on Sunday and Ms Minnie on Monday.
Caroline Moreau is a French singer who on the night performed the music of Édith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg and more. She was accompanied on stage by guitarist Lucas Gonzalez. Caroline is a charismatic performer, who gives depth to her songs through introductory stories, explaining the tales of lost love she is about to perform and also acting out segments of the songs. She has a lovely voice and an impressive stage presence. After this short set, there was an interval before the play was performed.
The piece itself is about Friday the 13th of March 1925, a bizarre night in the history of Dublin. The Monto was an area around Talbot street and was at one time the largest red light district in Europe. This was a time of change in Ireland and the Legioin of Mary was becoming a powerful force, acting as religious police. The Legion decided to close down the red light district and with the help of the police, descended on the Monto to rid Dublin of this plague of fallen women. There was a 120 arrests on the night and each house in the area had an image of the sacred heart pinned to the door.
The play takes a light hearted view on the proceedings. It focuses on three women who run local brothels and tells the story of their last night. We also get to meet some of the girls who work on the street and their pimps and punters. It is a musical and the story is linked together by a number of songs of the time.
As the space is not a theatre, there are no wings for the actors to disappear into. They all remain on stage throughout, with only the lighting altering the setting from one scene to the next. The cast are of varying ability but Isobel Mahon is impressive as one of the Madams. At its best it is an enjoyable night of music and theatre with a number of laughs along the way.
The Girls of Dublin Town – A play by Fionnuala Halpin.
Find out more about the Girls of Dublin Town here.
Girls of Dublin Town’s Facebook page is here.
Jacinta: Isobel Mahon
Mary: Geraldine McAlinden
Imelda: Michelle Costello
Francie: Robert Harrington
Frank E Lubin: Alan Burke
Martha : Sarah Reddy
Narrator: Gary Fitzpatrick
Production – The play is being produced by Mudisland Production.