The mountain village of Upperchurch is going back in time three hundred years to the days of the raparees, redcoats and rebellion with the staging of a new two-act play about the life, loves and betrayal of the local heroic outlaw Ned of the Hill. The play will be staged in the local community centre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 28th-30th.
While the play makes no claim to historical accuracy and includes fictional characters and events, the thrust of the story is broadly in line with the folklore handed down through the generations.
The all-local cast will play the parts of historic characters such as Patrick Sarsfield, Galloping Hogan, Maude of Dundrum, Reuben Lee and of course Eamon an Chnoic himself.
Lest anyone think that it is all grim and gruesome and full of horrible history there are also large helpings of comedy, romance, recitation, singing and music in the show. The talents of many well-known exuberant local personalities shine through and make us realise that while circumstances may have changed greatly essentially people are still similar to what they always have been.
The show has a large cast of about twenty, along with musical support. The play was scripted by Billy Clancy and is directed by Mary O’ Malley, Roskeen and Mary C. Ryan from Holycross. The leading role is played by John Quinn with Áine Ryan of the Mill playing his love interest. Indeed the predominance of the Ryan name in the locality is very evident with Colm Ryan playing Galloping Hogan, Jim Ryan of the Mill playing Reuben Lee, Joanne Ryan and Eileen Ryan as Reuben’s daughters, Jim Ryan, Garnakilka as High Sheriff Stanley, Richard Ryan as Patrick Sarsfield and Jim Ryan of Glown as Tomás Bán O’ Duibhir.
From outside the Ryan clan there are parts for Pakie Purcell as Maude of Dundrum, Anne-Marie O’ Malley as the widow facing eviction from bailiffs Pakie Spillane and Paddy Bourke, Willie Gleeson as Eamon’s father and Siobhan Kennedy plays a barmaid fending off the attentions of Billy Clancy as a tipsy redcoat officer assisted by Peadar Purcell.
Carly Purcell provides narration and singing. Costumes have been supplied by local lady Therese Browne, a theatrical costume designer who is based in Berlin. Musical accompaniment is provided by a youthful local group led by Cáit Ryan.
Proceeds are in aid of the new climbing wall extension.
Tickets are available from local shops and booking is advised for your own comfort. The curtain goes up at 7.30pm on Friday and at 8.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Please phone 087 615 8937 for booking or further information.