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Hilarious new comedy ‘I Shall Wear Purple’ coming to the Alley

21 February 2019

A hilarious new play by Belfast writer Rosemary Jenkinson – ‘I Shall Wear Purple’ – will be coming to the Alley Theatre in Strabane on Friday 8th March 2019, reminding us that life is for living and age is just a number!

Youth and experience collide in a scintillating, hilarious clash of culture in this new black comedy.  As Olivia and Thomas find themselves in Malinderry Care Home for very different reasons, one tries everything to escape while the other never wants to leave.

‘I Shall Wear Purple’ is the fifth collaboration between writer Rosemary Jenkinson and the c21 Theatre Company. The new play is directed by co-founder of c21, Stephen Kelly, produced by Tom Rowntree-Finlay and stars the renowned actress Stella McCusker as the headstrong and compassionate Olivia, alongside Patrick McBrearty as footloose dreamer Thomas.

After suffering a heart attack, Olivia is persuaded to move into a care home despite feeling much younger than her years. Here she strikes up an unlikely, tongue-in-cheek friendship with struggling art therapist, Thomas, who needs the care home to keep his head above water financially and out of trouble! Facing this chapter of their lives – with each other for support – Olivia and Thomas navigate a number of real-life problems facing many in Northern Ireland today.

Speaking ahead of the Alley Theatre performance, Director and co-founder of the c21 Theatre Company, Stephen Kelly said: “Once again I am very privileged to be working with Rosemary [Jenkinson] and Tom [Rowntree-Finlay] on this production. Rosemary has tapped into the myriad of issues facing many in today’s society. Purple symbolises ‘spirit’ which is something both our characters have in abundance, and it’s the kindred spirit they find in each other which proves that age really is just a number!

“Given her links with local theatre in Northern Ireland, we are thrilled to have Stella McCusker as part of our production.  For those that remember her appearance in ‘Lovejoy’ and more recently ‘Game of Thrones’ this really is quite a coup.  Likewise, Patrick McBrearty will add much value and distinction to the production with his charm and presence on stage.  We are only too delighted to have them both star in ‘I Shall Wear Purple’”.

Belfast writer Rosemary Jenkinson added: “The play deals with the realities of life’s journey, it’s a rallying cry for the arts, and the main component to take away is how someone from a different background can completely transform your outlook on life.  We want the audience to sympathise with these two people in their plight, while seeing the funny side and willing them on to swallow their pride and accept help from each other.” 

Following the success of previous comedies brought to you by c21 Theatre Company such as ‘Love or Money’ and ‘May the Road Rise Up, the new play ‘I Shall Wear Purple’ is not to be missed and is set to become another hit! 

The new production is also supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through National Lottery funding. Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: “The Arts Council is pleased to support this new production from c21 Theatre Company which highlights the power of the arts in dealing with challenging subjects. I am also delighted to see the play tour regionally, helping to bring great art to everyone.”

‘I Shall Wear Purple’ is also proudly sponsored by Belfast City Council and Doyle Shipping Group.

Tickets for the ‘I Shall Wear Purple’ performance at 8pm on Friday 8th March are on sale now at www.alley-theatre.com or call the Box Office on 02871 384444.