In the early hours of 1 August 1914 a group of suffragettes, led by Mrs Lilian Metge, attempted to blow up Lisburn Cathedral.
What made a respectable middle-class supporter of women’s rights resort to active militancy?
Using a mix of new writing, original source and related material, Shrieking Sisters is a thought – provoking suffragette drama. Set between 1912 and the eve of World War One, it explores personal journeys set against the broader backdrop of historic events and the struggle for emancipation.
Written by Maggie Cronin and Carol Moore
Performed by Maggie Cronin, Laura Hughes and Carol Moore.
I advise any group to put on this performance for its user group. It is lively, informative, easy to understand and a thoroughly enjoyable theatre piece. It would enhance learning for history students learning about this fascinating period… Heather Floyd (Arts for All)
Women United thoroughly enjoyed the read through of Shrieking Sisters. The three women were magnificent. They changed character brilliantly. Other groups would benefit from seeing the play as it showed women united under one banner despite creed and class…Anne Clawson (Participant from Women United)
The inspiration for writing our play came from the fact that less is known of Irish suffragists in comparison with their English counterparts and even less of the ones who lived in the North of Ireland. Our play is peopled by such vivid characters as Lilian Metge, Dr Elizabeth Bell, Winifred Carney, Margaret McCoubrey Isabella Tod and the redoubtable Hanna Sheehy Skeffington. If you look closely enough there are reminders and echoes of these remarkable women. Lilian’s hunger strike medal and other artefacts are at the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum; there are blue plaques commemorating both Margaret McCoubrey (Candahar Street, Belfast) and Isabella Tod (Botanic Avenue, Belfast). And, my personal favourite – the tea shop where many suffragettes frequented to buy cakes (the cake boxes were very useful for transporting firelighters for arson attacks- allegedly), is now the present-day Oasis clothes shop on Royal Avenue!
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to both Dr Myrtle Hill and Dr Margaret Ward, who were generous in sharing their research, time their time and support. Since its premiere at Belfast City Hall the show has toured theatres, arts Centres, community Groups and schools. It was performed at Parliament Buildings in Stormont on 8th March 2018 (International Women’s Day) as part of the centenary of the partial enfranchisement of woman in 1918.
To book a performance get in touch.