Spectrum: Charabanc Theatre Company pt.1

Spectrum: Charabanc Theatre Company pt.1

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Transmission 01/03/1985


08min 39sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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A look at local theatre company, Charabanc with an interview with thee of its key players.

Marie has been with the company since the beginning and has been involved in all of its writing. The current play is about a group of women who go away for the weekend, to a house ran by two Americans. The idea behind it, is for cross community interaction and for the women to bond over commonalities, however it is the differences which bring them together.

The process from idea to the play being seen, starts at the kitchen table with a mug of tea and then once the idea is struck, then every member of the company is involved with the structure and character development. Despite being labelled as a Feminist group, Charabanc say they don't want any labels at all and that they are a group of people who happen to be women and because it was mainly women actors out of work, they wrote parts for women and if it were five men "you wouldn't thing anything strange about it at all".

The next person we meet is an actor, and it’s her first appearance with the company. She feels she can identify with her character as "you will find her in every street, she's magic". The community appeal of the plays also shows, as she recognises situations which herself and people she knows have been in and has been able to contribute local colloquialisms for the script.  

Lastly, we meet Aidan, the only man on stage. He echoes Marie's point, that despite it being led by females, that it is a company that is interested in the human experience and he has never felt like "the token male".  


Charabanc Theatre Company was formed in 1983. It was born out of the frustration of five Belfast-based actresses at, not only the lack of work available to women in theatre, but also the quality of what was available.

The company initially worked as a team to research, improvise and write plays reflecting the experiences of Belfast women, but also branched out to produce new and existing texts of relevance to audiences throughout Ireland. Over the next 10 years the company became one of Ireland's most significant independent companies, producing many award winning shows and touring throughout Ireland and around the world. The group disbanded in 1995.


A UTV Production. 



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