Recently developed at the National Theatre in London, Jaki McCarrick's powerful play had its Canadian Premiere in White Rock this week and will go on to Vancouver mid-month.
Peninsula Productions Artistic Director Wendy Bollard has done a great job of realizing this story, based on the history of orphan girls shipped from their famine-ravaged homeland to Australia under a government plan. The Orphan Emigration Scheme was devised by the 3rd Earl Grey, British Secretary of State for the Colonies. [the tea was named after his father, the 2nd Earl Grey.]
Between 1848 and 1850, over 4000 women and girls were sent abroad. Some were orphans; others had been abandoned by families unable to feed them. Landlords who financed the workhouses were glad to reduce the number of their charges.
The play is showing at the Coast Capital Playhouse in White Rock until March 11. From March 15 to 18 it will play at the Cultch in Vancouver. A feature film is currently under development as well.