Margaret D’Arcy (1918-2018) was a Northern Irish actress from South Belfast. After studying drama in London, she returned to Belfast to become a leading member of the Ulster Group Players, with whom she acted throughout the 1940s and ‘50s, starring in roles such as the lead character Diana in CK Munro’s play of the same name, and Dr Anice Hollingshead in Blind Man’s Buff. After the Group Theatre disbanded, D’Arcy appeared in the West End production, The Tenth Man, directed by Tyrone Guthrie in 1961, before returning to Belfast to join the Lyric Players. She starred in many plays with the Lyric Theatre, performing alongside Liam Neeson in Brian Friel’s The Loves of Cass Maguire, Christina Reid’s Tea in a China Cup, and Graham Reid’s The Hidden Curriculum, which she also performed for radio. Margaret D’Arcy had a prolific radio career, spanning from 1949-1990s. She acted alongside Stella McCusker, as telephone operator Muriel in the radio comedy Ballylenon, a role for which she discharged herself from hospital to reprise when the series returned to the airwaves in 2010. In 1977 she was awarded the Queen’s Medal, and in 1979, Queen’s University of Belfast awarded her with an honorary Master of Arts in recognition of her services to theatre and radio in Ireland. In 1988 she toured with the Belfast Civic Arts Theatre in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Margaret D’Arcy also appeared in several BBC television dramas, including The Precious Blood, in 1996, and later in such films as, Wild about Harry (2000), and Puckoon (2002).
This archive contains some newspaper clippings about Margaret D’Arcy’s community involvement in Northern Ireland, including a fundraising appeal for a new hospital in Newry, adjudicating in Larne and Armagh Drama Festivals, and her appearance in the Ulster Actors Company production of Blythe Spirit.