Blinkered by Patricia Byrne

Words cannot describe the impact your play Blinkered had on me. As someone who rarely cries, I felt myself struggling to hold myself together. I witnessed the raw, tangible emotions and the powerful realism of a play that hit far too close to home. By watching both your play and workshop it enabled me to understand more about what I can do to help those in my own life and to make sure those close to me and those who are not all know they are wanted. In all honesty, this was my favourite part of the two weeks I have been in Northern Ireland, despite the sadness I felt. For all of us, I deeply thank you.

Anika Utke. Roosevelt High School, Seattle

Blinkered is an excellent reflection of the challenges young adults face and the darkness they experience and very powerful display of the guilt experienced by family members.

Phil Hughes, Assistant Director of Mental Health, WHSCT

Attended performance of Blinkered on Friday at NWRC......outstanding performance by all awesome emotional experience for all in attendance........Sole Purpose could easily be renamed Soul Purpose as they touched and opened the souls of all yesterday. Huge congratulations and major thanks to Pat, Shauna, all the cast and crew from all at NWRC.

John McQuaide, Tutor, North West Regional College


Pits and Perverts by Michael Kerrigan and Patricia Byrne

The play was a fantastic piece of honest storytelling from a new writer, Micheál Kerrigan, who was himself involved in the campaign in the 1980s. For those people who don't believe in the power of community, let me tell them that I have seen Pits and Perverts in a building built by a mining community. The power of community is there in solid foundations. Pits and Perverts is a great night's entertainment with a message of unity that always needs repeating. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Phil Broadhurst, South Wales Evening Post

Plays like Pits and Perverts beautifully show what life was like both for the miners and their families and the LGBT community. This play takes you into the lives and the homes of those involve, providing a real sense of the daily struggles against prejudice and eventually the solidarity that was the true ethos of the time. Pits and Perverts tells a story that is historical and educational but it also reflects current realities in a way many can recognise and relate to.

David Sharkey, The Morning Star 

Life and Love: Lesbian Style by Hilary McCollum

This play from Derry does exactly what it says on the tin. It's about Lesbians and it has style. Sole Purpose Productions presents verbatim theatre with the voices, tears, laughter and integrity of the interviewed women, sensitively collated by Hilary McCollum into a captivating weave of women's loves today. This is a powerful ensemble of gutsy women whose respectful empathy for their diverse subjects shines through in what is a celebratory revelation of lesbian life and love.

Review from The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

Lesbian Style runs the full gamut of real Irish lesbian experience, with a refreshing warmth and openness that skillfully handles the tough realisities of lesbophobia and the giddy highs of dyke love and queer power. Wonderful stuff! Way overdue!

Ruth McCarthy, Director, Outburst Queer Arts Festival 

The House by Edie Shillue

This was a thought provoking and accurate portrayal of human trafficking in Northern Ireland. The workshop following was beneficial to all who participated and helped clear up many of the myths that exist around the subject and its criminality.

Inspector Terence McKenna, PSNI

A massive thank you for the wonderful performance. The audience were very engaged and the feedback has been excellent.

Finola Brennan, Donegal Anti-Trafficking Group

Galatea by Lawrence Aronovitch

The play showed gay relationships in a positive light and was affirming for many who were in the audience. The fact that the actors were not professional but were encouraged and trained by Sole Purpose Productions is inspirational for all those gay men who attended. The play brought gay relationships into the mainstream in a sensitive yet realistic way.

Gina Gallagher, Strabane and Lifford LGBT

It was a charming production that punched below in a light hearted style. The ironic humour of the writing was greatly enhanced by light touch directing and the fact that we could sense resonance between the play and the 'lived lives' of the people acting it. I loved it's exuberance and haven't laughed so much for a long time. And so I didn't even expect the punch until it hit me.

Jim Keys, Producer, Gaslight Productions

An evening of LGBT Theatre Lab plays in progress

What a brilliant night. What a range of emotions – near to tears, sweet smiles, raucous belly laughter. That was a night of drama that lifts the lid off all the crappy snarls of oppression that loops around and strangles human love. Giving new voices a space to speak, should and be heard is a real gift t this city. Brilliant work!

Hilary Sidwell, Western Health and Social Care Trust 

The Maidens City - A Herstory of the Walled City by Anne Crilly

Brilliant tour! Breathtaking moments along the route. Moving, informative, surprising and fun. Thanks to all.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama, Arts Council of Northern Ireland

An Absolute tour de force. So enjoyable and engaging. Heartiest congratulations to you and your leading ladies. They seemed to be part of the fabric of the walls.

Anne Craig

Great writing! Talented actresses! Transported me to the moment in history. Elements moved me to tears. Brilliant!

Audience comment

Don't Say A Word by Patricia Byrne

Don’t Say A Word opens discussion about violence against women in a way which enables young adults to contribute. The play, while harrowing at times, touches issues which must be addressed if society is to be better. The play also offers hope

John Harkin, Oakgrove Integrated College

Don't Say A Word was exceptional, the performance was powerful, moving and engaged the audience fully. In the workshops, women talked openly about the need for change within the Traveller community in attitudes towards violence. This is a breakthrough.

Emma Jane Hoey, National Traveller Womens Forum

The play was very informative and real. It was inspiring, very well laid out. I work mainly with men and showing this play to them has shown some of them, if not all, that behaviours they may have took for granted, or seen as normal, is anything but.

Martin Mongan, Sligo Travellers Support Group

A Wee Taste by Patricia Byrne

An outstanding production which was thoroughly enjoyed by all in the audience. The script and performance struck home with the children in a way that was entertaining, educational and above all, believeable. Schools need more work of this quality!

Damien Clarke, St Patrick's College, Maghera

Using drama to raise issues relating to teenagers is so important. This wasn't teachers banging on about drinking. The play removed the authority label, brought it down to everyone's level, raised the issues and the workshops were absolutely vital to drive the message home in a relazed way. Absolutely fabulous!

Judith Norris, Head of Drama, Lisneal College

Every Move You Make by Patricia Byrne

A fantastic production that deals professionally and sensitively with serious social issues. Well done!

Mary-Claire McDaid, St Ciaran's College, Ballygawley

This production has been a success. Domestic violence does not play a big enough role in PSE/Pastoral Care Programmes in schools - but this production has helped raise awareness of this vital issue.

Michael Quigley, Pastoral Manager, St Peters High School

Did you come by Boat? by Patricia Byrne and Elly Omondi Odhiambo

It is important that arts continue to be used as a means to reaching audiences with difficult community relations issues like racism and sectarianism. Creative approaches, like this one, which are genuine about trying to tackle difficult issues and reach new audiences have a real potential to change mindsets and make people think.

Sue Divin, Derry and Strabane District Council Community Relations Officer

There was particularly good interaction with the audience and the panel produced a lot of feedback after. It was also important that the panel included representatives from the Republican and Loyalist communities. The production allowed local people to make the connection that prejudice can be subtle and will allow us as an organization in developing a rights and responsibility ethos.

Maeve McLaughin, Glen Development Association

Clouds on a Mountain Road by Orna Akad

Carmel McCafferty and Abby Oliveira's performances were outstanding. They painted the stage magnificently with both their diction and passionate performances. A courageous and emotive piece. It's too long since I have been that moved.

Karen McMillan, Human Rights Barrister

The performance was full of truths that exposed the audience to a stimulating insight into the role poetry has played in inspiring flames of passion in revolutionaries whilst allowing for literal and metaphoric rationale for appeasement and interpretation by the author.  The play was both thought provoking and eye opening and was really enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Oliver Green, Greater Shantallow Community Arts


See No Evil by Patricia Byrne

See No Evil was excellent, the actors were terrific. It was very powerful at highlighting how this abuse can start and be maintained. It has opened the eyes of some staff to the reality that this sort of abuse can happen very easily. A very powerful piece of drama that makes you think.

Christine O'Kane, U3A Foyle

I found the play very moving and thought provoking. People coming out were very touched by it. Congratulations on a drama that raises such an important issue and deals with it in a very subtle but powerful way.

Hilary Sidwell, Western Health and Social Care Trust

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