Belfast Girls Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 14 2015

In her 2011 play, Jaki McCarrick’s got great material and lousy strategy. She focuses on five young Irish women in 1850, crowded with a few hundred others on a ship headed for Sydney, hoping to outrun the traumatic consequences of the Great Famine, oblivious to the equally traumatizing realities that await in Australia. It's a fascinating, horrifying slice of Irish history (some 4,000 women took this journey between 1848 and 1851), but McCarrick can't bring it credibly to life. In act one she devotes all her time to outlining her characters and their historical moment, forgetting to let something happen. Overcompensating, she turns act two into a mad, melodramatic rush of personal crises and emotional implosions. Artemisia director Julie Proudfoot’s honorable cast go down swinging. —Justin Hayford

Price: $25, $15 students and seniors

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