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The Poetical Life of Philomena McGuinness

by Moon Rabbit Theatre


A critically-acclaimed, comedic and poignant one-woman play, inspired by the true stories of Irish nurses during WWII.

about the production

It’s 1939 and Philomena McGuinness, a reluctant nurse, has been newly recruited for the British war effort. But it is not the blood, the bombs, or even the wise-cracking soldiers that make her question her place here. It’s the fact that she really wants to be a poet. Through poetry, comedy and drunken singalongs, Philomena aims to be remembered not as a nurse, but as the person she wants to be. "If you leave this play feeling anything other than touched and inspired, then you are probably not breathing" - ★★★★★ Broadway Baby ★★★★★ The Wee Review ★★★★★ Edinburgh Reporter

about the artist

Moon Rabbit is an innovative, two-person theatre company enthusiastic about surprising stories of individuals throughout history. We love to tell real stories through a fictional lens, and get to grips with the personal narratives behind momentous historical events. Our work centres around character, first and foremost, and how they are moulded, affected, and perhaps unfairly defined by history. We love to do this through intimate staging and moments of audience interaction, with a heavy focus on script and character acting. With Philomena, we have had multiple sell-out EdFringe shows and performed onboard Cunard cruises. High-quality production pack available on request.

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stage dimensions

width: 3 metres

height: 3 metres

depth: 3 metres

Our show requires no sound set-up, though incoming music would be preferable. We use very little tech, and the only lighting states we use are spotlights and general washes. These are not necessities, however, and we can, if needs be, perform the show with no tech at all.
The set is very minimal - just a small folding table and a chair.

A big part of our company's ideology is that we aim to make shows that are appealing and interesting to an older generation. We do this by making dynamic and relatable coming-of-age stories that are set in historically interesting times. This way, we hope to bridge the gap between older and younger audiences, by making the kind of energetic one-woman shows that a younger audience come to see, within a historical narrative that will appeal to over 65s.

"If you leave this play feeling anything other than touched and inspired, then you are probably not breathing."

Broadway Baby

"A deeply affecting performance, which does full justice to Joshua King’s masterpiece script."

The Wee Review

"This is a beautifully written and well-crafted story by Joshua King, performed brilliantly by actress and comedian Jasmin Gleeson."

The Edinburgh Reporter

Because of our target market, we aim to only perform if the space is accessible by wheelchair and, preferably, not up a flight of stairs. We are flexible on this, however.

We love to give Q&A sessions after our shows, as we find, with the nature of the subject matter, there are lots of people who want to find out more or engage in discussion about the character and the history involved. We are also happy to offer writing/acting workshops at the theatre for a fee.

We are happy to negotiate on fee or box office splits.

We are not VAT registered.

Due to this being a one-person show, and the director and performer being in the same support bubble, there is little risk of spreading infection or cancelling due to illness.