THE MAGDALEN WHITEWASH

by Valerie Goodwin

 

Magdalen Whitewash

 

This is a play I wrote in 2002, about the Irish laundries set up in convents for the ”fallen women” who were mostly young abused girls, locked away by their families and who had  their babies adopted.

The last one closed in 1996.

However some of the children of the ‘Maggies’ came and met me when it was staged by a group in Dublin and I  flew over and met them.

They said: ‘Thank you for telling my mother’s story’.

 

Running time: 90 minutes ( with songs, and  ‘ballet’ with sheets).

Set: can be a simple as a washing line hung with sheets, some benches, baskets of sheets, tin baths and buckets.

 

CHARACTERS

Characters (in order of appearance) :

Girl / Nancy                 16 years old. Self-assured. American

Mary (old)                    28 years old. Institutionalised and resigned to her fate.

Waitress

Mary (young)               Nearly 13, a bit of an ‘eejit’. lived alone with her father.

Sister Ignatia                About 40 years old.  fairly kind natured.

Bernadette                   A resident at the laundry for about 10 yrs. A natural poet. The identity of her child’s father has been kept a secret.

Martha                         Made pregnant by a married man. Resident for about 2 years.

Assumpta                     Bitter. About 20 years old. Has only just had her baby. Father refused to marry her, and went off to England.

Angela                         Had her baby a month ago. Is still hopeful about leaving. Her cousin got her pregnant.

Marie                           Aged 64. Resident for about 50 yrs.

Pauline                         The joker. 15 years old and nearly due. The boy has now married a rich widow.

Father Doyle                Early 30’s, Very ‘Stephen Tompkinson’. Believes in the sins and the penance. Tries to help the girls. Sincere.

Sister Margaret             A bit dithery. New to the Magdalen.

Father O’Connell          Mid-50’s. A nasty, perverted type.

Jim                               A delivery man.

Donal                           Another delivery man.

Sister Gabriel               About 30 years old. Very cold and strict.

Mother Superior           Aged 60 plus. Distant and unyielding.

Mrs Doolan                  Pauline’s Mother.

Patricia                         10 yr old orphan

.

 

Preview available here

Please click the button to  buy a copy of this script.