I attended the opening night of La Touche Players’ performance of The Magdalen Whitewash by Valerie Goodwin last night in the Teachers’ Club. As you would expect, this is a mostly female cast, with strong performances from all involved. The play spans the 1930s and 1940s and follows (in snippets) the lives of a number of women living in a Magdalen laundry, presumably in Dublin, but the nature of the organisation meant that all four corners of Ireland’s accents were represented on stage. There were some pacing issues but these will be worked out with repeat performances. The abandoned women find a sense of home and camaraderie between the suds and sheets of the laundry. But the real story, all too realistic is never far away, and the feeling of institutionalisation is shocking and uncomfortable. It’s a worthy but not easy watch.
The Magdalen Whitewash runs tonight and tomorrow night, then again from Tuesday 22nd – 28th April inclusive. Performances run from 20:00, tickets cost €15.