In June 2004 Corcadorca staged a new play called Losing Steam. Commissioned by Corcadorca, the script was written by Ray Scannell and was based on the closure of the Fords and Dunlop’s plants in Cork in the early eighties. As the two largest employers of that time, their closing had a profound and devastating effect on the city and its people. Fords alone had been the beginning of industry in Cork, and it’s legacy spanned nearly eight decades. Eight decades of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters devoting their lives to their company, only to be left cold when it all fell apart and these companies sought greener pastures. This is where we saw the drama lying. The play centred on two families caught up in this economic crisis on different levels, portraying the effect it had on their lives.
Losing Steam was a site-specific promenade style production set in a building which stands where the old Ford Factory used to be. The play included a large community cast and a very strong musical element. A vibrant live music scene unique to Cork allowed the frustrated youth of their day escape from the economic and emotional depression. The production drew strongly from that music scene and the youth culture of the time. A four piece post punk rock band made up of some of the original members of prominent Cork band of the time, ‘Five go down to Sea’ along with the long remembered Arcadia as a backdrop, brought to life the essence of this theme.
Losing Steam was directed by Pat Kiernan with a professional cast of six. The action revolved around two families, the Dempseys, a father and two sons who have lost their jobs in Dunlops and are fighting for fair redundancy payments; and the Geraghtys, headed by Bob, a manager at the Ford plant, his wife Amanda and daughter Shirley.
Venue: Old Ford and Dunlop Factory Sites, Cork, 17 to 26 June 2004.
Sponsored by SIPTU
Written by Ray Scannell
Directed by Pat Kiernan
Noel O’ Donovan – Bernie Dempsey
Aidan O’ Hare – Fin Dempsey
Damien Kearney – Frank Dempsey
Kevin Ahern – Bob Geraghty
Maria Hingerty – Amanda Geraghty
Julie Kelleher – Shirley Geraghty