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Play Highlights Issues of Violence Against Women

A powerful play directed by a University of Ulster lecturer and performed by an Ulster graduate aims to highlight issues of domestic violence.

Jordan is the true story of one woman’s journey from her hometown in Morecambe to the inside of a courtroom where she stands trial for murder.

Directed by Professor Carole-Anne Upton from the School of Creative Arts at Magee and performed by Ulster drama graduate Déarbhail Carr, the one-woman show is touring the country as part of the ‘16 Days of Action Opposing Violence Against Women Campaign 2010’, organised by Women’s Aid.  

The touching monologue, which was written by Anna Reynolds with Moira Buffini, won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Fringe Play in 1992. 

Professor Upton said: “In this stunning one-woman performance, we get a picture of how it feels to live through a cycle of violence and destruction, played out through the ordinariness of everyday life in a seaside town.  

“The real events portrayed in the play took place in England in 1986-7, and the story raises important questions about women and violence that still need urgently to be addressed in our own society today.

“Jordan is a fantastic piece of writing: it is intricate and intimate, confrontational and outraged, humorous and dark, but never sentimental. It offers a rare opportunity in the theatre, where the female monologue is still something of an oddity, and presents an enormous challenge to a single female actor.  

“Our focus in preparing this piece has been to try to capture the quality of experience that Shirley describes and to find a map by which the actor can navigate a route through the piecing together of her story in words; telling the story of telling a story that is so very hard to tell.”

Professor Upton added: “The 16 Days Campaign is an important way of raising awareness of the issue of violence against women at a national and local level. It also makes the issue visible in our society and gives hope to women who are suffering.”  

The International 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence Against Women runs from 25th November to 10th December 2010. For further information visit: http://www.womensaid.ie .  

Jordan is currently being staged at venues across Ireland. Future performances include: 

Thursday 18 November: Sean Hollywood Arts Building, Newry, 8pm

Friday 19 November: Foyle Arts Centre, University of Ulster, Magee, 8pm

Friday 26 and Sunday 28 November: Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast 8pm

This production forms part of a series of research projects concerned with theatre, actuality and social justice in contemporary Northern Ireland, undertaken by Professor Upton. For further information on these performances contact Professor Carole-Anne Upton at ca.upton@ulster.ac.uk.