Review: Magdalen

Erin Layton in Magladen
Erin Layton in Magladen
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LIT only by candlelight, this venue is perfect for sending an eerie shiver up the audience’s spine.

* * * *

Paradise In The Vault, Merchant Street

Another, playwright-cum-solo-performer show, it tells the story of the women that were sent to the Good Shepherd Magdalen Laundry, Dublin, in 1948.

Set (mainly) in the past - focusing in particular on the women of the laundry - the characters include a disabled orphan, a prostitute and an unmarried mother. Instantly, they are set to work within a cruel, harsh regime.

Fast forward to 1998, and the new owner of the laundry building tells us of the number of bodies buried. No death notices, no funerals - just gone. Forgotten. Forever.

It is hard to comprehend what you’re hearing. Playing all nine characters is a credit to Erin Layton’s skills as an actress. With only a chair to aid her she is riveting to watch. Times may have changed, but the suffering these poor women went through should never be forgotten, having been so criminally swept under the carpet. Layton, however, goes some way to keeping their memories alive. It’s hard to watch, but so it should be.

Until August 31