Sole Purpose 21 Years Festival of Theatre for Social Change

21st – 24th February 2018

Sole Purpose Productions is celebrating 21 Years of creating groundbreaking theatre and is presenting a full programme of events to mark this mammoth milestone!

All events will take place in The Derry Playhouse unless otherwise stated


Wednesday 21st February

7pm  Festival Opening - Exhibition Launch

You are invited to look at a reflective exhibition of Sole Purpose works over the past 21 years with talks by Senior Lecturer of Drama at Ulster University Magee Lisa Fitzpatrick, Co-Founder of Sole Purpose Dave Duggan & current Artistic Director Patricia Byrne. There will be a drinks reception.


Thursday 22nd February

10.30am £5   

Every Move You Make by Patricia Byrne

A Sole Purpose Production exploring abusive relationships among young people, followed by a Q&A with the actor Aoibh Johnson, writer/director Patricia Byrne and representatives from Foyle Women’s Aid / NSPCC.


8pm £10 

Red Ladder Theatre Company presents

Life and Soul by Chris O’Connor

Jim’s always been a bit of a character, just like his Dad, and spends most of his life between the bookies, the pub and the football. He’s always had this lingering feeling though that he doesn’t quite fit into this world, that there’s something different about him, something wrong… Jim’s never told his story to anyone before, but tonight he’s going to tell it to you…’

Red Ladder is a radical theatre company celebrating 50 years this year. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice.  This play explores mental health. After the performance Rod Dixon, Artistic Director of Red Ladder will give a talk on making theatre on mental health. Siobhan O’Neill, Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University, will give a presentation on her experience of working with Sole Purpose on Blinkered by Patricia Byrne.


Friday 23rd February

2-4.30pm £20
Collective Encounters Workshop facilitated by Sarah Thornton

Sarah is founding Artistic Director of Liverpool based Collective Encounters, a professional arts organisation specialising in Theatre for Social Change. The company has a deep-rooted participatory programme across the North West of England and an excellent reputation nationally and internationally. This workshop is a masterclass on Theatre for Social Change designed for actors, facilitators & activists. Limited to 20 people, book early!

8pm £10

Sole Purpose Rehearsed Readings

Join us for a potted history of Sole Purpose over 21 years with a selection of readings from past productions with introductions from Patricia Byrne, Dave Duggan, partner organisations and artists who’ve been involved with the works.


Saturday 24th February

12 – 4pm £40 to partake, £5 to observe

Sole Purpose Theatre Lab with guest director Rod Dixon

Sole Purpose is known for its Theatre Labs which the company have been running for 18 years and which have developed many new writers. This special Theatre Lab will feature Rod Dixon as the guest director. Do you have a script you are working on that deals with themes of social change? Would you like to experiment with it with professional actors? Then submit 5 pages by the deadline 12th February. If you would like to take part or observe the Theatre Lab please contact Sole Purpose at Limited places available.


8pm £10

Smashing Times Theatre Company presents

The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WW11

A creative reimagining of moments from the lives of women during WWII recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against fascism and refused to accept oppression. Smashing Times is a professional theatre and film company involved in performance, training and participation. The work is underpinned by a rights-based approach and a commitment to artistic excellence and social engagement.


9.20pm Sole Purpose Panel Debate

Join us for a debate on the significance of theatre for social change in todays world chaired by Dave Duggan with a panel including: Patricia Byrne (Sole Purpose), Mary Moynihan (Smashing Times), Rod Dixon (Red Ladder), Sarah Thornton (Collective Encounters), Niamh Flanagan (Theatre NI)


10.30pm Sole Purpose Closing Social

Let your hair down, relax, have a drink, maybe a dance at the closing social of the festival with music and drinks. Some rocking beats from DJ Lost Soul Presents, at Sandinos Upstairs Back Bar.

Bringing professional theatre to communities

Sole Purpose is a company limited by guarantee, registration number NI37481 and is recognised by the Inland Revenue as a charity, reference number NIC100618