The pandemic has taken its toll across many sectors, not least the Arts. However, its resilience is starting to shine through. Embracing the current landscape, Prime Cut Productions is delighted to announce it has collaborated with the MAC to co-produce and bring to the stage the world premiere of ‘Father the Father’.

Recorded live, this production see’s Prime Cut Productions and the MAC join forces for an unforgettable production. Telling a story that explores identity, secrecy, shame and legacy.

The debut play written by Gilly Campbell, is based on her own personal journey of growing up not knowing who her father was, only beginning her search for him 45 years later. Gilly’s mother who is from Downpatrick, became pregnant in 1973 and was not married; deciding to hide her pregnancy by moving away to England. Gilly knew nothing about her father, nor did her mother.  The profound story details Gilly’s thoughts, feelings and questions surrounding her father, someone who she had never met.

Gilly is an acclaimed member of the Arts community in Northern Ireland, with her role as Head of Community Arts & Education at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the process of creating ‘Father the Father’ Gilly said: “I began the search for my father around two and a half years ago. It started with an online DNA test and more details became unveiled. I began writing everything down. My story is but one version, one journey of many children who were born to Irish women, single, unmarried women. There’s so much I’ll never know about my father, so the play is an exploration of asking the questions that I’ll never have the answer to. At times it is sad, yet hopeful, and it is just one of the stories from the dark ages of secrecy that surrounded “illegitimate” children in Ireland.”

Award-winning Belfast actress, Abigail McGibbon, stars in this one-women play.

Emma Jordan, Artistic Director at Prime Cut Production said: “After what feels like a lifetime, we are delighted to be back in rehearsal. Albeit things are different from what we are used to, but we are making it work. What a way to return to stage though with Gilly’s first play. It is raw, emotive and beautifully written. The benefit of showcasing Father the Father as a live recording, allows audiences to view it globally, not just in Belfast, so we are really excited about that.”

Simon Magill, Creative Director at the MAC said: “We are delighted to be working with Prime Cut once again, as we explore new ways of presenting theatre at this current time. The subject matter, told through direct personal experience, is sensitively and powerfully conveyed, amplifying the thousands of similar stories throughout our island, shining a light on how we, as a society must address the legacies of our past.”

Father the Father will premiere online at 8pm on Thursday 8th April and available on demand until 11:59pm on Saturday 17 April. To book tickets, visit


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