Northern Ireland news

Derry play on youth suicide to make US debut in New York

Patrick McBrearty and Gemma Walker, performing in Blinkered, a play about teenage suicide
By Mairead Holland

A PLAY by a Derry woman about the impact of teenage suicide will have its US premiere later this month.

Blinkered, written by Patricia Byrne of Sole Purpose Productions, will be performed at the 1st Irish Festival in New York.

It examines the impact of mental health and suicide among young people, and was first shown in Derry in 2016 followed by a tour of theatres around Ireland.

Sole Purpose Productions will be working in partnership with the city's Department of Education, the New York Irish Centre and Solace House Suicide Prevention Centre.

Blinkered tells the story of Ryan, a young man dealing with feelings of isolation, frustration and loneliness and overwhelming thoughts of taking his own life. When he is alone in his room he speaks to the audience, delivering a heartbreaking monologue of a young man on the brink.

The play is directed by Shauna Kelpie and performed by a cast including Patrick McBrearty, Cathy Brennan Bradley, Gemma Walker and Marty Maguire.

It will tour Northern Ireland from January 14-18 before the company goes to New York, supported by the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland and the Community Foundation for NI.

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