Marie Jones (1951- ) an actress and playwright based in Belfast. Born into a working class Protestant family, Jones left school at 15 and worked as an actress for several years before turning her hand to writing. She co-founded Charabanc Theatre Company, an all-women touring group which was set up to address the lack of roles for women, and began writing as part of the group, contributing to plays like Lay Up Your Ends (1983), based on a 1911 strike by mill girls, Oul Delf and False Teeth (1984), on women’s post-World War II hopes for a better life, Gold in the Streets (1986), and Somewhere over the Balcony, on life in the notorious Divis flats (1987). She remained with Charabanc until 1990 when she left and in 1991 co-founded DubbelJoint Theatre group. She has also written extensively for Replay Theatre Company including Under Napoleon’s Nose (1988) as well as Stones in His Pockets. Other plays in a prolific career include The Hamster Wheel (1990); A Night in November (1994) and the highly successful Women on the Verge of HRT (1996) as well as community plays like Weddin’s, Wee’ins and Wakes and the musical, The Chosen Room (2008). She has written extensively for radio and TV including: Tribes (1990); Fighting the Shadows (1992); Wingnut and the Sprog (1994); and the adaptation of her play, The Hamster Wheel (1991). Stones in his Pockets received an Olivier Award and an Evening Standard Award for Best New Comedy in 2001. Marie Jones has received the John Hewitt Award for her outstanding contribution to the cultural debate in Northern Ireland, a Special Judges Award at the Belfast Arts Awards in 2000 and an OBE in 2002.
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