Play about historical abuse at Magdalen laundries raises cash for Women's Aid

HARD-HITTING DRAMA: Nicky Henrick plays Mary and Kirsty Rendell plays Pauline . Inset, Jasmin Ward and Jack Bloss play Angela and Donal

HARD-HITTING DRAMA: Nicky Henrick plays Mary and Kirsty Rendell plays Pauline . Inset, Jasmin Ward and Jack Bloss play Angela and Donal

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

AT a time when the spotlight is focused on historical abuse, west Dorset students have been highlighting the old scandal of the Magdalen laundries.

Fresh from a triumph of staging their drama teacher’s play the Magdalen Whitewash in Buxton last yea,r students at Beaminster School put on a performance at the Lyric Theatre in Bridport and helped raise more than £100 for the charity Women’s Aid.

Year 12 student Daisy Curtiss, editor of Sixth Sense, said: “Not only was the play successful in terms of being highly emotive and shining light on harrowing events at a time when they are in the news with the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), but also for raising more than £100 for the charity Women’s Aid.

“The Magdalen Whitewash is an emotive ensemble piece and it is difficult to single out individuals when the whole cast produced such thought provoking performances by conveying events and desolation felt by those who were institutionalised.

“The recent documentation in the news made the play even more powerful and Mrs Goodwin should be praised for her writing.”

Mrs Goodwin said: “It went very well; it had the impact as we wanted. We very much liked the fact that we had a huge audience and the ambiance of the venue helped.

“It was said how professional we were and how everyone was very generous, helpful and supportive of each other and that was great, particularly as they were a really good group to work with.

“All of the stories in the play are based on real case stories including the girl who was put over into the laundry from the orphanage because she wasn’t adopted when she had literally done nothing wrong.

“It was a very strange set up. It was all bound up in control and misogyny.”

The play was hard-hitting enough to have several audience members in tears.

One person said: “It was a very moving experience. I thought the intensity of the acting was really impressive and deep, several members of the audience were in tears. It was quite hard-hitting and they certainly got that across.”

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