‘The Dead Letter Office’ presents an opportunity for children to discuss displacement and finding belonging in a new place. Photo: Ros Kavanagh

Child's Play

A new play aims to teach children about migration and displacement.

‘The Dead Letter Office’ will run in Cork for children age 9 and older and presents an opportunity for children to discuss displacement and finding belonging in a new place.

The play, the debut play of Cork playwright and actor Mary-Lou McCarthy, promises to be full of mysteries to be solved and has already excited audiences at developmental workshops, with children, many of whom had not experienced live performance before.

Mary-Lou McCarthy said: "I want children to experience high quality ambitious theatre - work that is made with them and for them. I was lucky, I was brought to see plays as a young child by my mother in my local theatre, The Everyman. This October, ‘The Dead Letter Office’ will premiere in association with The Everyman, where it all began.”

It uses the familiar world of postal arrivals and deliveries to explore why people are sometimes forced to travel across the globe in search of a new home.

The story begins in the basement of a rural Irish post office, where a lonely letter detective, Elizabeth, sorts, redirects and investigates packages and letters that have lost their way. An enormous box reveals a man who has posted himself from Syria, along with precious artifacts from the museum he works at, allowing the audience to unearth his story, learn about his culture, and explore our place in the world.

The play will run 2 times a day at Graffiti Theatre in Cork from 19-22 October and at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght from 26-28 October. An ISL interpreted performance takes place on Saturday 22 October at 3pm in Cork.

'The Dead Letter Office' has been in development for 2 years, working with schools, children, creatives, and experts in digital technology on the research and writing.

The play is 60 minutes with no interval and students and children who attend the play will receive an educational resource pack and video resources further exploring the themes and narrative of the play.