Rough Girls tackle the Conservatoire

Derry Girls star’s debut play kicks off autumn theatre season.

The inspiring story and legacy of Northern Ireland’s pioneering women footballers, Rough Girls kicks off Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Theatre Company’s autumn season on Thursday 12th October at the Crescent Theatre.

Rough Girls is the debut play of Derry Girls star Tara Lynne O’Neill, who played fiery mum Mary Quinn in the hit series alongside Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (part of Birmingham City University) alumna Nicola Coughlan who starred as Clare Devlin.

The play premiered in 2021, a century after the FA’s ban on women’s football. With an all-female cast, the tenacious and humorous work chronicles the courage and determination of the women who became known as the suffragettes of soccer.

Set in Belfast in 1917 against a backdrop of war and social upheaval, the women risked ridicule and rejection by kicking a ball but went on to play to increasingly huge crowds and contest the first international fixture.

Over a century later, and on the heels of Northern Ireland’s women’s team recently qualifying for the Euros, this high-energy play directed by Russell Bolam celebrates the courage of sporting trailblazers past and present. Rough Girls is at the Crescent Theatre from 12-14 October.

Also part of RBC Theatre Company’s autumn season is Arnold Wesker’s seminal play Roots, directed by Gari Jones. Infused with raw humour and passion, it follows Beatie Bryant’s transition from working-class girl to a woman able to express herself, and the social struggles of her time. Timeless in scope, Wesker’s play remains a classic. Roots is at the Crescent Theatre, Ron Barber Studio, from 12th-14th October.

Finally, Jonny Woolf directs a stylish new vision of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy Much Ado About Nothing transported to 1980s Italy. Behind the designer labels, sparkling jewels and sun-drenched locales, Shakespeare’s playful characters and witty wordplay charm as brightly as ever. Much Ado About Nothing is at the Crescent Theatre from 19th-21st October.

Further information and booking details from .