Letterkenny Pantomime Society brings The Field to the stage

One of the most iconic and dramatic pieces of Irish theatre is being brought to the stage in Letterkenny by the local Pantomime Society.

One of the most iconic and dramatic pieces of Irish theatre is being brought to the stage in Letterkenny by the local Pantomime Society.

The Letterkenny Pantomime Society is bringing John B Keane’s play to An Grianán Theatre from September 12th to 15th.

Keane based the story on the death of a wiry fifty year old bachelor farmer, Moss Moore who was found murdered in rural Kerry in 1959. Moss Moore had been reported missing and after a ten-day search, his badly beaten body was recovered hidden in a ravine twenty yards from his cottage. The local community didn’t look far for a suspect. Moore’s nearest neighbour Dan Foley was engaged in a long running and bitter dispute over the positioning of a fence. The friendship between the two men had by this stage disintegrated into a very bitter and public dispute with a court date set for the following month.

The police never prosecuted Foley. His family blamed the police for not capturing the ‘real’ murderer. The community blamed the police for not catching Foley, who died before his time five years later.

After his death, John B Keane wrote the play The Field, basing his central character “the Bull McCabe” on Foley. But Foley’s only living relatives now claim there is one major difference between fact and fiction: Dan Foley was not a murderer. The play debuted six years after the murder, which made national headlines. It was an overnight success and sealed Keane’s reputation as a playwright of note.

Bull McCabe is played by Chris Duddy, who puts his own strong stamp on the role.

Tadgh McCabe, the Bull’s son is a complex character, volatile and unpredictable, his odd behaviours’ are chilling and uncertain and Michael McLaughlin plays this part to great effect.

The slippery, ne’er-do-well and conniving drunkard but likeable Bird O’Donnell is played with great energy by Mickey Coll who has been a regular with the pantomime society over the last three years. Tina Burns makes a welcome return to the panto society as Maimie Flanagan and Tina’s feisty demeanour and strong comic delivery bring this character to life. Mick Flanagan is Maimie’s cowardly and self-centred husband and Paddy Gallagher does a great job in this part. The Flanagan’s eldest son, Leamy is played by Niall Brennan.

Maggie Butler is the legal owner of the field and Deirdre Daly who has played many roles with the pantomime society gets very much into the skin of the widow. Dandy and Mrs. McCabe are played by Jim Callaghan and Nina Vallee.

The unfortunate William Dee’s sharp tongue and clear sense of the sordidness of what is happening to his attempt to buy the field is portrayed by local man Aidan O’Sullivan. The resolute and stalwart Sergeant Leahy is played by Kildare man Derek (Del) O’Sullivan.

Michael Leddy has been given the role of Fr. Murphy. The very experienced Diarmuid Ó Gallchóir makes a cameo appearance as the bishop and the Flanagan children are played by Mark and Aidan Ward, Maria Hannigan and Aine Creagh.

The set is designed by Paddy O’Connor and has been built by Tommy Kerr and Christopher Carr. Make up is by Una McGlynn and Frances Walsh. Lighting by Martin McDonnell. The Field is directed by Patrick Doherty.

Junior certificate students for 2013 will be interested in this production as “The Field” is part of the English syllabus for this examination

Glenswilly National School are hosting the opening night on Wednesday 12th and tickets are priced at €15 each. Tickets for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday night are priced at €15 each or 2 for €25. O.A.P.s and students €10.

Tickets can be had at the box office at An Grianan, by telephone at 0749120777 or online at www.andgrianan.com. Early booking is advised.