The Knitting Ring
Directed by Sé Merry Doyle (LOOPLINE FILMS)
Produced by Rosalind Scanlon and Sé Merry Doyle
Trailer: The Knitting Ring 2020
The Knitting Ring is a vibrant and engaging documentary drama which shows a group of older Irish women going on a drama workshop journey. We see the women going back in time, to a village in the West of Ireland in the 1960s where they step into the shoes of characters in an Irish knitting ring. The folk group The Clancy Brothers have just appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in America, wearing Aran jumpers and the demand for them is so high that an American suddenly arrives in the village, looking for Irish women to knit Aran sweaters for Macy’s Store in New York. Using their reminiscences, true histories and ancestor’s stories, we watch the women build characters and storylines and witness the power of drama to thrill, move and inspire.
This film is not only an invigorating depiction of how drama can transform older people’s lives, but it is also a touching portrayal of Irish women, their warmth, their humour, their bonds and their tremendous resilience to carry on.
The film captures the rehearsals at The Irish Cultural Centre and then we see the women go under the lights in the film studio at The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. The film’s director Sé Merry Doyle is one of Ireland’s leading documentarians, his film includes ‘John Ford – Dreaming the Quiet Man’and ‘Patrick Kavanagh – No Mans Fool’
The drama workshops for the project, were led by theatre director/writer Rosalind Scanlon, (Artistic Director ‘Irish Repertory Theatre Co UK’.) Rosalind been leading theatre projects with older Irish women for many years, giving them the opportunity to act and perform on stage, often for the very first time in their lives. She has produced several productions with older Irish women, including ‘Lovin Daniel’about the fans of Daniel O Donnell,’ Rouge Rifles and Revolvers’ about the forgotten heroines of Ireland’s Easter Rising in 1916; ‘Wash House Stories’, about the women who used the public Wash-House in Fulham in the 1960s; and ‘The Road to Knock’ about a group of women going to see the vision of the Virgin Mary in 1890. This is first time Rosalind and older Irish women’s group have participated in a documentary drama.