MAINSTREAM by Rosaleen McDonagh

 As part of Project 50, Project Arts Centre and Fishamble: the New Play Company present

MAINSTREAM by Rosaleen McDonagh

MAINSTREAM by Rosaleen McDonagh
CUBE, Project Arts Centre

Tickets €15 – €18
Book Now

Previews: 16 – 17 Nov €15
Dates: 18 – 26 Nov €18/16

John Connors
Neili Conroy
Gráinne Hallahan
Donal Toolan

We share a history, we share a memory and they both share my heart.

It’s that time of the year. A time that Eoin, Mary Anne and Jack all remember.
They have all agreed to take part in a documentary.
They have all lied to each other about what they are going to say on camera.

Project Arts Centre and the Olivier Award-winning Fishamble: The New Play Company present a new play by Rosaleen McDonagh about truth, lies and the mainstreaming of Travellers with disabilities.



Directed by JIM CULLETON
Set Design by NIAMH LUNNY
Lighting Design by SARAH JANE SHIELS
Sound Design by DENIS CLOHESSY
Video Design by NEIL O’DRISCOLL


Rosaleen McDonagh is a Traveller woman with a disability.  Originally from Sligo and is the fourth eldest in a family of twenty children.  She worked in Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre for ten years  managing the Violence Against Women programme and remains a board member. She is a regular contributor to The Irish Times and has written ostensibly within the framework of a Traveller feminist perspective. McDonagh’s work includes The Baby Doll Project, Stuck, She’s Not Mine, and Rings.  Rings was performed at VAS in Washington in June 2010. McDonagh was shortlisted for the PJ O’ Connor radio play Awards 2010. While in the United States with Fishamble, Colum McCann, Booker Prize winner, gave her the rights to adapt his 2007 novel Zoli for stage. In March 2012, Beat Him Like a Badger was commissioned by Fishamble to be part of the Tiny Plays for Ireland series. Commissioned for a feature article in the Irish Times in 2012 responding to Channel 4’s series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.  2013/2014 she worked with Graeae Theatre on its WTP programme.  As part of this project, she spent two weeks on attachment in The Royal Court Theatre. Rosaleen has a BA in Biblical & Theological Studies, an MPhil in Ethnic & Racial Studies & an MPhil in Creative Writing, all from TCD. She is currently a PhD candidate in Northumbria University.

John Connors is an actor, screen writer, filmmaker and activist from Coolock, North Dublin. He’s also a part of the Travelling community. He studied in the Abbey School of Acting. His first role was in was in Mark O’Connor’s 2011 King of the Travellers. His most notable acting role to date was playing Patrick Ward in the award winning RTE crime drama Love/Hate for which he received a 2014 IFTA nomination. He has worked in over twenty film, television and documentary productions, including John Connors: The Travellers.

Theatre work includes It’s Not Over (Theatreclub), Pineapple ( Calipo ), Little Gem (Guna Nua), Mums The Word (R.C. Kelly), The Sugar Wife, Mrs Sweeney (Rough Magic), Pilgrims In The Park (Fishamble). Farawayen, Guess Who’s Coming For The Dinner (Calypso), Done Up Like A Kipper, Down The Line, Maps Makers Sorrow (Peacock), The Plough And The Stars (West End and British Tour), and The Cherry Orchard ( The New Theatre). TV and Film work LOVE/HATE, Trial Of The Century, The Randomer, Family, The Van, The General, Intermission, A Film With Me In It, Nora, Kisses, The Halo Effect, Just Like A Bitch, Bloom, Holby City, The Clinic, Paths To Freedom, Situations Vacant, The Medallion.

Gráinne is an actor, director and theatre-maker based in Dublin. She recently graduated from Trinity College with a degree in Drama and Theatre Studies where she received a first class honor for her originally devised and directed show Mind The Gap (The Samuel Beckett Theatre). She has a postgrad in Arts and Education and has just completed the Theatre Forum and Dublin Theatre Festival’s 2016 emerging artist programme The Next Stage. As an actor Gráinne performed in Dick Walsh’s George Bush and Children (Dublin Fringe Festival 2016 Judges Choice award) and in PanPan Theatre’s Newcastlewest (Finland’s Korjaamo culture Factory and in 2015 Dublin Theatre festival). She also performed in Andorra (Nick Johnson), This is Still Life (Brokentalkers) Titus Andronicus, Othello (Dublin Shakespeare Festival) and Macbeth (Cathal Quinn). Gráinne’s devising, writing and directing credits includes Lil Lily and Elizabeth (Five Lamps Arts Festival), Mind The Gap (The Samuel Beckett Theatre), She Inspires Me (Exchange Dublin and ActionAid Ireland), By The Bog of Cats (Players Theatre) and Strong Soft Woman in (Smock Alley, Galleried 13). She has worked as an assistant to directors Gavin Quinn, Deirdre Malloy and Aoife Spillane-Hinks. Gráinne likes to create work dealing with universal themes via a collaborative lens using contemporary performance strategies. She believes anything is possible when we believe it and that art is an extremely powerful and precious tool in society.

Donal Toolan  has worked as a broadcast journalist, an actor, as well as working as an advocate promoting the rights of disabled people. His first performance in Project Arts Centre was with the National Youth Theatre in 1987 and has also featured in Broadcast a; one-man show performed as part of Dublin Fringe festival as well as touring with Team Theatre’s production of Swings and Roundabouts. Other credits include UK tour with Graeae Theatre’s production of Bent and a number of seasons performing cabaret and musical theatre with the National Theatre Workshop in Belfast, Maine and East Hampton.  He has featured in the film Inside I’m Dancing as well has providing voices for a number of characters including ‘Senator Horace’ in the Last Words (Today FM) conversations with Navan Man.

As an advocate he was involved in negotiating the Commission on the Status of people with Disabilities in 1993. He was one of the founders of, and acted as a director of the Forum of People with Disabilities up until its wind up in 2007. In 2003 he was involved in process to bring about the Disability Act 2005 and represented FPD as an observer to the UN in the drafting of the Convention on the Status of People with Disabilities.

NIAMH LUNNY | Set & Costume Design:
Niamh Lunny’s previous design work for Fishamble includes Inside the GPO, Tiny Plays For Ireland 1 & 2, The End of the Road and Shorts. She has designed for The Abbey and Peacock Theatres, ANU, The Performance Corporation, Rough Magic, The Ark and NAYD among many other theatre, dance, film, television and independent commissions. She is head of Costume at the Abbey Theatre and a graduate of Limerick College of Art and Design.

SARAH JANE SHIELS | Lighting Design: 
Sarah Jane Shiels began lighting in Dublin Youth Theatre, completing a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies (Trinity College Dublin), and the Rough Magic Seeds3 programme.  Since 2010 she has been co-artistic director of WillFredd Theatre.  Recent designs include The Remains of Maisie Duggan (Abbey Theatre), Override (White Label), Rising (Dublin Youth Theatre), Town is Dead (Abbey Theatre), Dublin Oldschool (Project Arts Centre), Educating Rita (Lyric Theatre), The Cradle Will Rock (Lir), She Knit the Roof (Earagail Arts Festival), Shadow of a Gunman (Abbey Theatre/Lyric Theatre), Lessness (TheEmergencyRoom), BEES!, Jockey, CARE, Farm, Follow (WillFredd Theatre), Everything Between Us, The Critic, The House Keeper, Plaza Suite (Rough Magic), PALS (Winner Irish Times Theatre Award Best Lighting 2015), The Boys of Foley Street, Laundry, World’s End Lane, Basin (ANU Productions), How to Keep an Alien (Sonya Kelly/Rough Magic), It Folds (Winner Irish Times Theatre Award Best Lighting 2015), Dusk Ahead (Junk Ensemble), This Beach, Have I No Mouth, The Blue Boy, Silver Stars (Brokentalkers).

DENIS CLOHESSY | Sound Design: 
Denis has produced work for theatre and dance with the Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre, Fishamble (including Pat Kinevane’s Olivier winning ‘Silent’), Rough Magic, Corn Exchange and many others. He won the Irish Times theatre award for Best Design Sound in 2011, was a nominee in 2015, he was an associate artist with the Abbey in 2008 and was a participant on Rough Magic’s ADVANCE programme in 2012. He has also composed extensively for Film and Television including Older than Ireland (Snack box Films), The Irish Pub (Atom Films), His and Hers (Venom Film), The Land of the Enlightened (Savage Film), The Reluctant Revolutionary (Underground Films) and the television series Limits of Liberty (South Wind Blows) performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra.

NEIL O’DRISCOLL | Video Design:
Neil O’Driscoll studied animation in Ballyfermot Senior College, then crafts in Grennan Mill, Co. Kilkenny, before receiving an Honours Degree in Film and TV from Edinburgh College of Art. He works in film, theatre and illustration, and is currently finishing production on his first feature film, Waking the Witch.

Contact Information

Fishamble: The New Play Company
3 Great Denmark Street
Dublin 1
Phone: +353 (0)1 670 4018

Supported By

Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by The Arts Council, Dublin City Council and Fundraising Fellowship Dublin . Its international touring is supported by Culture Ireland.