WORKING class pals with a passion for theatre are taking their play across the Pond.

Following the success of ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Katie Mahon and Molly Rumford are setting their sights on the Big Apple after seizing an ‘exchange’ opportunity.

Katie proudly explains they performed the play 19 times during their month-long stint and one of the reviews even likened it to the writing style of the late Bradford playwright, Andrea Dunbar.

“I could not put into words because Andrea Dunbar is an absolute hero. My Dad lived on Buttershaw and the stories were just real working class life,” says Katie, who grew up one of Bradford’s council estates.

“We have come to this point where people are seeing us as carrying on her legacy a little bit.”

While at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe the pals, who met after teaming up for a play at Leeds University where they are studying for their theatre and performance degree, had the opportunity to network with other performers and the idea for an exchange tour developed through chatting with another independent theatre company based in New York.

Says Katie: “We got chatting to a theatre company from New York that make plays as well about women in history and that is similar to ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby,’” says Katie, referring to their play, a verbatim production based on interviews and focusing on two sisters – Brenda who is 16 and pregnant and Amy who is the first in her family to go to university which they have previously performed at Stage@Leeds and Bradford Playhouse.

“We started chatting to them about what we do - Brenda’s Got a Baby is about working class women - we watched their play and they watched ours,” says Katie.

It is four years since the pals, who come from similar backgrounds and upbringings, set up Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company.

Funded through the Spark enterprise scholarship at Leeds University, Bloomin’ Buds is a social enterprise ‘challenging the stigma of the class divide through community-based theatre’ and improving access to opportunity and to the arts for people from lower and working-class backgrounds.

Now the pals are excited at the prospect of widening their audience when they take ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby’ to New York for 10 days in September.

They have launched a Crowd Funder to help them cover the £9,000 cost of the exchange tour, and are fundraising through events such as ‘Don’t Dream it Be it’ - the Rocky Horror themed student night starting at 7pm at the Library pub in Leeds on Sunday February 10.

“It is just incredible because we are two council estate girls who have started off on this journey. We knew Edinburgh Festival was a wealth of opportunity. The reason we went was to make our name, network and make the most of it - but to be taking the working class voices of the women of Bradford to New York it’s amazing and exciting and it’s a culmination of the hard work we have put in,” adds Katie.

For tickets to ‘Don’t Dream it Be it’ - the Rocky Horror themed student night email:

To find out more about the Crowd Funder visit: