Dorothy Macardle was anoutstanding Irish woman of the 20th century whose legacy and achievements haveonly recently come to public attention. She was a novelist, playwright,Hollywood screenwriter, historian and pioneering human rights campaigner.Daughter of Sir Thomas Macardle, founder of the Macardle Moore brewingenterprise in Dundalk, she rejected her family's imperial values and became -in her own words - "an unrepentant propagandist" on behalf of the IrishRepublican cause. In November 1922 she was arrested by Free State forces; herartistic and scholarly manuscripts publicly burned on a Dublin street, andimprisoned without trial in Mountjoy and later Kilmainham Gaol and the NorthDublin Union.
A series of handwrittendiaries she kept while incarcerated have now been adapted into a remarkablesolo theatre performance by Sharon McArdle and Declan Gorman. They revealDorothy not just as a committed political thinker but a visionary artist, whoseconnection to the uncanny, and meditations on time, trauma and loss place heramong the literary innovators of the early 20th century. Warm, humorousportraits of fellow women prisoners, tales of ghostly apparitions anddevastating accounts of deprivation and violation blend with dreamscapes andparanormal episodes in this original performance which is now being staged after almost five yearsof archive research and workshop exploration.
Research and development of thiswork have been made possible with the support of Create Louth - the ArtsService of Louth Local Authorities; Fingal Arts Office; Bank of Ireland ArtsAwards; Dublin City University and the Arts Council (Theatre Project Award).