Home-grown productions at Fringe Festival

NORTHERN Ireland theatre is making its mark on Edinburgh this August with two home-grown productions.

The Boat Factory and Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory have proved to be smash hits at the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012.

An inaugural venture for both The Boat Factory and Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory, it is the first time that two local productions have been funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to perform at the largest arts festival in the world.

The Boat Factory was the hottest ticket at last year’s international Belfast Festival at Queen’s and is clearly having a similar impact on Edinburgh theatre goers with a five star review in the Edinburgh Guide. On stage at the Hill Street Theatre in Edinburgh, actors Dan Gordon and Michael Condron are presenting their unique take on the Shipbuilders of Belfast in The Boat Factory. Based on Dan’s personal experience of growing up around the east Belfast shipyard, The Boat Factory explores the infamous shipbuilding heritage of Belfast and is a poignant and human tale.

Billed as one of the top 5 things to see at the festival by the Scotsman and with a four star review in the Edinburgh Guide, the Lyric Theatre’s production of Paul Boyd’s adult musical comedy Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory is big on laughs and catchy songs. Performing at the Assembly Rooms, the riotous Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory is rapidly gaining cult classic status. Taking a satirical swipe at a society that considers beauty to be only skin deep, Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory sticks a finely-tuned musical hypodermic firmly into the bosom of today’s surgery-obsessed culture.

Damian Smyth, Head of Drama & Literature at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented on the decision to fund the trip to Edinburgh for both productions; “We are very fortunate to have a wealth of excellent local theatre in Northern Ireland. The Boat Factory and Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory are two productions that couldn’t be more different in subject matter and style yet both exemplify all that is first-rate about Northern Ireland theatre, from the script writing to the acting and the production. We have seen how artists benefit from the chance to showcase their talents on an international stage so it was important for us to support the very best of our local talent by funding this trip to Edinburgh where both productions are proving extremely popular.”

The Lyric Theatre’s Artistic Director Richard Croxford added; “Northern Ireland audiences couldn’t get enough of Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory at the Lyric so it is wonderful that we can be part of the Fringe Festival here at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. It is obviously very important for the Lyric to ensure that as many of its productions as possible transfer to a wider audience - it helps us not only to promote the Lyric, but also to showcase our creative local talent on national and international stages.”

Actor Dan Gordon said; “We are thoroughly enjoying our time in Edinburgh with The Boat Factory and are proud to be representing Northern Ireland at this internationally renowned event. It’s wonderful to see the warm reaction that the play is receiving from the audiences here especially as it is a celebration of the City of Belfast and the people who made her great.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe caters for everyone from the biggest names in showbiz to emerging performers and covers all sorts of art forms such as theatre, comedy, children’s shows, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, all genres of music, exhibitions, street performers and events. Bookings for the Edinburgh Fringe run from 3 – 26 August and can be made online at www.edfringe.com