In March 2021 Tinderbox premiered Louise Mathews’ original and powerful new piece of missing memoirs, Immaculate, as part of the Féile an Earraigh Arts Festival 2021.

Immaculate has since been screened as part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2021 in association with Dublin Pride and was selected to feature as part of the LGBTQ Unbordered Film Festival in Delaware, where it won the Merit Award in the Arthouse category.

We are delighted to announce that Immaculate will be showing as part of the Edinburgh Fringe festival 2021 on the 26th and 27th August. Tickets are available to purchase here.


Immaculate is based on a true story about Louise Mathews, an artist struggling to piece together the life of her uncle Anthony, who tragically died in the early 90s and whose cause of death has left many unanswered questions.

Anthony was born in Belfast and later left for London to live his life as a gay man. As Louise began to find out about his life, the research took her on an immense journey of joy, elation and sorrow as revelations about his past highlighted deeply conservative attitudes and daily threats to gay men living in London at that time (especially during the HIV and Aids Epidemic). Her journey to find his truth only led her further into mystery and shame as so many gay men were forced to live in complete isolation or in many cases, vanish into the periphery of society.

Through her lyrics and incredible music composition by Stuart Robinson and brought together through a digital online performance, Louise is determined to reclaim his life, get the justice he deserves and celebrate those who were forced to hide in the shadows of our society.

Director of Immaculate, Patrick J O’Reilly commented:

“Immaculate is a powerful analysis to our history of inequality and shame, a celebration of where we are today and a call to action for a future needs to recognise everyone as equal in our society’.

Poster design by Ciaran Haggerty

Photography by Carrie Davenport

Critic reviews

“A touching and brave tribute by Mathews to her uncle Anthony but not only to Anthony, this is a performance dedicated to a lost generation, those who lost their lives to aids in the 80s…An emotive, beautiful and creative collaboration which should be shared far and wide.”

Emer Dooris

“Hidden stories are never truly hidden and they also inform who we grow up to be. A piece like this encourages us to reflect on the hidden narratives in our own lives and families.”

No More Workhorse

Audience comments

“The poetry was divine. Louise's singing was amazing. The costumes, that halter jumpsuit! Wow! The emotion. The story. The humour. The sadness. He was a man I think I would have loved to have known. Crackers and adorable.”

“I liked the boldness and ingenuity. It was like nothing else I’ve seen in terms of a theatre show produced digitally.”

“Moving, beautiful, sad, haunting, tragic, joyful, poignant. All that. Beautifully written, cast, directed, sung, designed and so original.”

“I really loved the show! I just said to my family today that it was the best thing I’d seen in ages (and I’ve seen plenty)…I loved the music, the way Anthony's story slowly unfurled, the lighting, movement, costumes and floaty screens printed with words, the animation. The whole together combined to a mesmerising and gripping experience.”