Edinburgh Preview: Killymuck at Underbelly McEwan Hall (Jersey)

Killymuck - courtesy of Javier Ortega Saez
Killymuck - courtesy of Javier Ortega Saez

Inspired by real events, Killymuck tells of a housing estate built on a paupers graveyard in 1970s’ Ireland. From Kat Woods, award-winning writer of Belfast Boy (Fringe Review Award for Outstanding Theatre, The Stage Award for Excellence), Wasted (New York transfer as part of the Fringe Encore Award), and Mule comes a powerful exploration of survival – about those who strive to work against the stereotype and break free, about fighting for something better.

Niamh navigates life through the parameters, trials and tribulations of being a kid from the benefit class system. Lack of opportunity, educational barriers, impoverishment, addiction and depression are the norms as her struggle to escape the underclass stereotype becomes a priority. From school trips organised as cross community excursions to unite fractured post- Troubles towns, to finding the humour within an estate crippled with misfortune, Killymuck touches on suicide, addiction, alcoholism, poverty and lack of educational opportunity.

Through Killymuck, Woods is striving to project the benefit class in a positive light, away from the stereotype perpetuated by the media. Exploring how those from deprived areas or with less access to money often have less opportunity in life, Killymuck shines a light on how social and psychological behaviours impact and shape who we become.

Kat Woods comments, There is a forgotten segment of society that we never talk about when it comes to the arts – the lower classes. The underclass. The benefit class. I am from that background and this piece is based on true events inspired by my own narrative. These stories need to be told and need to find representation on stage. We are in danger of theatre becoming an elitist domain. Let’s create theatre for all not just the few. Killymuck is my battle cry.

Killymuck is at Underbelly McEwan Hall (Jersey).

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