The cast and team behind ‘The Girls of Cartridge Hut No.7’ say the musical is a great opportunity to tell the true story of what happened to the women who worked in the old Ardeer factory.

The musical will come to the Ardeer Community Centre from May 2 until May 7, and the Herald sat down with the team behind the musical to chat about the upcoming shows.

Director Mary McCluskey said, in reference to the Ardeer factory: “It was such a huge employer, 2022 is the 150th anniversary of it opening, and I just thought it was a great opportunity to tell the story.

The good times and the bad times and how much Stevenston in general, and Ardeer specifically suffered as it closed.”

The whole story will be told by the girls of cartridge hut number 7 – who unfortunately died in an explosion in the hut on May 8 1884.

The explosions was found to be caused by piece of faulty equipment, but at the time it was reported that the girls themselves were responsible for their own deaths.

Mary added: “It’s a great opportunity to give a bunch of characters who had no power at that time to actually let them tell the story of Ardeer, and they inadvertently are telling their own story at the same time.”

The cast are also extremely excited by the opportunity and return to in-person performances.

Cast member Cath Barrett said: “There’s such a different experience being in a room with a live audience, getting to play off one another and interact. It’s a much more intimate thing.”

George Docherty added: “It’s also nice to come back in this way, coming back from a time where everybody was separate, coming back to a community centre and something involving the community and the area.

“You’re not just coming back on stage, right back to acting as it was originally, it’s not some big fancy theatre.”

Star Penders commented on her excitement at being able to come back to a show like this, rather than a large-scale performance. She said: “There’s as much of an investment in making sure that we truly tell the story well and we are giving it the opportunity to shine.

“What’s nice with this is since not everyone will know about it, there will be lots of surprises, and I think that will make people really reflect on their own area.”

Tickets are available for the show from: