Writing Three Days’ Time…

Writing Three Days’ Time…

I never set out with the intention of writing a play. Initially I only wrote down the amusing comments and stories that my elderly Northern Irish relatives came out with for my own sake. But soon, as my collection grew, I found that I was writing fictional dialogue in order to link together those real moments. And so, I started trying to capture the voices of the real women in my life.


Connie Dent as Mary, Ella Duffy as Liz, ADC Theatre Cambridge, Photo Credit: Daniel Karaj

When I realised that I was writing a play, I decided that I wanted it to just show women being normal human beings: sometimes kind, sometimes insulting and often funny. By looking at my own Northern Irish family – and the relationships within it – I found a culture that unabashedly used humour as an antidote to grief or hardship.

In writing a mother-daughter relationship that is subjected to the pressure of grief, you are able to explore the best and worst in people because those extremes are usually reserved for those that know us best; those that are expected to love us unconditionally.


Connie Dent as Mary and Dolly Carbonari as Violet. Any similarities to real life people are not coincidental. 

I hoped that ‘Three Days’ Time’ could show women who loved each other challenging, teasing, caring for and screaming at one another in a way that people would recognise. With a lot of whiskey thrown in for good measure.

Rose Reade as Dee, ADC Theatre Cambridge, Photo Credit: Daniel Karaj




Three Days’ Time by Kate Reid

The second show in our Edinburgh double-bill of new writing is Kate Reid’s brilliant Three Days’ Time, set in Northern Ireland exploring the relationship between a mother and daughter who haven’t seen one another for years. Inspired by the real life quirks of Kate’s own family and friends, Three Days’ Time will be returning in all it’s revamped glory for the second half of the Fringe! 

Three Days’ Time by Kate Reid , Directed by Gabbie Bird

Dates: 17th -28th August       Venue: C Nova, India Buildings, Edinburgh        Time:TBC

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Some of the strongest student writing I’ve had the pleasure of seeing…

 8/10 – TCS Newspaper

The Play

Dee has not seen her mother for years and has little to nothing in common with her. However after her visit to Ireland ends up with a trip to the police station to pick Mary up, the two are forced to share the same house again. 

No matter how hard we try, and how far we go, our families always manage to pull us back in. Dee realises this whilst trying to unravel the mystery of her puritanical, Northern Irish mother’s arrest at the same time as confronting her beloved father’s recent death.

Over the course of three days, with an array of nosy and mostly well-meaning locals endlessly popping around for tea and Irish levels of whiskey, Dee and Mary  rediscover what they have always loved, and hated, about one another.

Rose Reade (Dee) and Connie Dent (Mary), ADC Theatre, Cambridge. Photo Credit: Daniel Karaj

Three Days’ Time is clever and quirky, with an air of verisimilitude to which any student who has gone home after a term or two away at school can relate. Kate Reid‘s script moves quickly, compressing Dee’s three-day visit home into an hour-long exploration of the eternal conflict between mothers and daughters, the profound loss experienced by widows, and the way in which family bonds are inescapable. The script provides serious meditation with ample comic relief, never failing to delight. 

4.5/5 Stars – The Tab Cambridge

The Cast

Connie Dent and Rose Reade will be reprising their roles as Mary and Dee as we head to the fringe! We’re looking forward to confirming the rest of the cast very soon….

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Madwomen in the Attic by Aoife Kennan

Madwomen in the Attic by Aoife Kennan

Following previews earlier this year we’re introducing Aoife’s dark, Brontë-inspired, dark comedy to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of our double-bill of new plays. 

Madwomen in the Attic by Aoife Kennan, Directed by Gabbie Bird

Dates: 3rd-16th August       Venue: Studio 5, C Nova, India Buildings, Edinburgh        Time:4pm

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“Aoife Kennan’s The Madwomen in The Attic is at once hilarious, sad, disturbing, explosive and a provocatively gritty exploration of one of the most destructive images in literature… This combination of old and new serves to create nothing short of a masterpiece.” 4.5 STARS (The Tab Cambridge)

The Play…

Haworth parish hall welcomes you to their weekly ‘Womens Aid’ meetings, held every Wednesday, six ‘til seven.

Featuring: Jane, the woefully under-qualified group leader; Tony, who finds sexual gratification in Channel 4 documentaries; Grace, her warden, who sings karaoke every Friday night; Isabel, whose growing baby bump is struggling to fit behind the Tesco till and Helen, who lives in the hall on the hill and always arrives with paint on her fingers.

In this brilliant new play, see classic female Brontë figures strip off their corsets, break down the attic door and elbow their way in to the twenty-first century.

A dark comedy.

Byronic heroes not invited.

“The Madwomen in the Attic is a play which subverts expectations, offers humour but also creates complex and believable characters…. Aoife Kennan’s script fizzes with witty references to the works of the Brontë sisters and deftly pokes and prods at the tropes of Victorian literature, while also telling a very human story of women trying to deal with their pasts. 4 STARS” (Cambridge Theatre Review)

“I’m just the crazy, unreliable narrator of my own story.”

Katura Morrish as Tony, ADC Theatre Cambridge, Credit: Daniel Karaj.

Taking inspiration from a selection of Brontë characters and placing them in the 21st Century, Madwomen in the Attic uses dark comedy to explore how women deal with domestic abuse today.

“I was taken surprise by how witty the writing was, and left with an ache in my chest from the touching performances of each of the survivors …Flawless. When a play about domestic abuse can have characters spontaneously breaking into song without feeling trite, you know it is a masterful example of theatre.” 5 STARS (Varsity Newspaper)

Watch this space…