Drama Without Plot Wins Out

Laundry by Anu Productions has won The Irish Times best production award for 2011 Irish Theatre. The pity is that so few people got to experience this exceptional piece of drama as the audience entered the former Magdalene Laundry in Sean MacDermot Street, Dublin, in groups of just three people during the 2011 Dublin Theatre Festival.

When I emerged from a Laundry performance into a bleak, wet, Saturday morning on Sean MacDermott Street, last year,I knew that I had experienced a performance that would never leave me. And it was a drama that was almost – but not entirely – without words. It relied on the sensory experience of the place and the almost mime-like performances of the actors to convey some of the experiences of the Magdalene Laundry. But it did not scream or throw blame in one’s face but, rather, invited you to immerse oneself in the building’s haunting history.

Theatre critic Peter Crawley has put it well – Landry has let ‘a shameful national history bleed into a vivid present’.