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Charabanc Theatre Company

Charabanc Theatre Company

Charabanc Theatre Company was founded in 1983 by a group of five Belfast-based actresses, fuelled to create more opportunities for women in theatre. The company researched and developed plays based on local issues, history, and culture, initially in Belfast, but later drawing on wider women's experiences in Europe and America. Their first play, titled Lay Up Your Ends followed the mobilisation of a group of Mill girls striking against wage cuts in 1911. It was performed by the core company of actresses Marie Jones, Carol Moore, Eleanor Methven, Maureen Macauley, and Brenda Winter-Palmer, who later toured the play in the Soviet Union in 1984. When the company disbanded in 1995, their material was placed in the Linen Hall Library and the Irish Theatre Archive.

Contents of the Charabanc Archive based at the Linen Hall Library include research interview transcripts, touring schedules, newspaper reviews, photographs (including agency headshots), monologues, clips of festivals, administrative documents, letters, invitations, posters, programmes, leaflets, annotated scripts, press releases, tour analyses, sketches, and handwritten documents, including a notebook belonging to Carol (Scanlan) Moore with entries from their trip to the Soviet Union in 1984. This collection covers many of Charabanc’s plays, including: Lay Up Your Ends, Me and My Friend, Now You’re Talkin’, The Girls in the Big Picture, Somewhere Over the Balcony, Gold in the Streets, Weddins, Weeins and Wakes, Bondagers, October Song, The Hamster Wheel, The Stick Wife, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Illusion, The Vinegar Fly, and more. It also contains ephemera from their tour of the United States of America, and an International Workshop Festival in 1993.

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