Dark comedy unearths the secrets and lies that bind the FAMLA together.

Tinderbox Theatre Company unearths long buried family secrets in Famla by acclaimed writer John McCann.

Haunting, hilarious and heartbreaking, Famla dares to challenge the stories we tell ourselves to hide the truth of who we really are. Directed by Patrick J O’ Reilly with incredible performances by Tara Lynne O’ Neill, Rhodri Lewis and Hayley McQuillan, Famla is a theatrical feast not to be missed.

Hector has passed this place all her young life. An old house. Must be a hundred years old. Maybe more. Looks abandoned. Festering. She never really gave the house a second thought. Until now when she needs a place to escape to. She discovers someone is still living inside. Someone spiteful. Refusing to budge. Clinging on…


Famla director Patrick J O’Reilly, appointed as Tinderbox Artistic Director last year, says the play will resonate with audiences everywhere.

 “Every family has buried secrets and lies that we hope will never come to surface but John’s play beautifully digs them up and reveals the truth for us all to witness. With its riotous, nightmarish, grotesque and juicy behavior and dialogue, John creates a menacing and brooding atmosphere that will keep audiences wondering what’s coming next as it twists and turns between light and shade. He also paints a vivid picture of a small rural community in which you can almost see the curtains twitching and hear the tongues wagging of those bursting to know, feeling it’s their right to know what’s going on behind closed doors in this mysterious house.”

Famla playwright John McCann sees parallels between the answers sought by his characters and the wider debate about how we deal with the past In Northern Ireland.

 “The lives of the characters in Famla have been blighted by what happened many years previously. The problem is, they each have very different notions concerning what actually took place. A key moment in the play shows characters deliberately placing themselves in an imagined future where they have a chance to practice and experience what it might be like to actively reclaim and redefine your past. If successful they will potentially unlock their future. A key question for me is: will this imagined future manage to contain their different versions or be held hostage by them. Also, when will you know it’s the right time to stop re-hashing and rehearsing an imagined future and start living instead?”

Famla is recommended for ages 16 + and will be staged at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh on Saturday 1 April at 8pm. Tickets are priced £13.50 and £11.50 (concession) and can be booked by phoning (028) 3752 1821 or online at www.marketplacearmagh.com.

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