Spotlight on female oppression through the life of early Limerick aviator

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Spotlight on female oppression through the life of early Limerick aviator

Sophie Pierce, or Lady Mary Heath, as she was later known is the subject of Amy De Bhrun's play in The Belltable

WELL versed in the world of television and film, actress and writer Amy De Bhrun admits she has been an artist that preferred to venture into the fictional world when it came to her original work.

But despite her reluctance to deliver a work of non-fiction, the Corrie actress was strongly allured to the colourful but tragic life of Limerick woman Sophie Pierce, formally known as Lady Mary Heath.

And this Friday, De Bhrun brings Pierce’s story back to life in a unique play at The Belltable, entitled I See You, which depicts Lady Mary Heath and her contemporary counterpart Mary, who both share experiences of female oppression.

Both figuratively and literally, Lady Mary Heath reached for the skies as a pioneer in aviation, and was the first registered woman to fly a commercial flight in Britain.

Regarded as one of the most well-known female faces on the planet, Sophie Pierce’s life was a success on the service, but the optics defied the tragic reality that she was often undermined by the world of patriarchy.

“It really resonated with me how tragic it was that she did all of these amazing things but was never truly seen for it. I know of felt that way with my own story as an actor and an artist. You can be doing the greatest gigs in the world but there’s a lot of value put on fame. Sometimes you get lost in the mix if you’re not playing the fame game. Because she was out there and doing it so fearlessly, there was this idea that she had notions, that she was kind of above her station, which I think can happen in small countries anyway,” De Bhrun told the Leader. 

And this Friday, De Bhrun brings Pierce’s story back to life in a unique play, entitled I See You, which depicts Lady Mary Heath and her contemporary counterpart Mary, who both share experiences of female oppression.

A cathartic experience, Amy said by shining a light on the Limerick woman’s story, she was able to shine a light on hers. Tickets for the show are selling for €18 and can be purchased via the Lime Tree Theatre website or via the box office at 061 953400.