Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at An Grianan

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at An Grianan

Iarla McGowan and Paul Kennedy in Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme

Two Donegal-born actors at very different stages of their careers feature in Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme this weekend in Letterkenny.

Ballyshannon man Sean McGinley is still at the top of his game after many decades in film, TV and on stage, while the younger Iarla McGowan, from Letterkenny, is a man still forging his career. This production, and his recent involvement with Field Day Theatre Company, are big steps in the right direction. One can hope he too will become as big a household name as Sean McGinley - certainly he has the talent.

This joint production between the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and the Lyric Theatre in Belfast has been hailed as an "exceptional" staging of the iconic 1985 play by Buncrana born playwright Frank McGuinness.

A scene from the Abbey Theatre's exceptional production, which features two of Donegal's top actors.

The drama is set in 1916, in the trenches of France and the six counties that would become Northern Ireland. It offers a compelling and humane consideration of the Protestant men of the 36th (Ulster) Division of the British Army. The eight men of the play, ranging from

Belfast shipyard workers McIlwaine and Anderson, to former minister of religion Roulston, are a diverse working-class group, apart from Pyper, a young sculptor who is the “black sheep” of his wealthy family.

"There is a touch of genius in McGuinness’s, sensitive, often bleakly comic exploration of the men’s situation. Director Jeremy Herrin and his brilliant cast give powerful expression to the exquisitely crafted script. The deeply affecting production delivers this resonating play

of war and identity with tremendous intelligence and emotional charge.” The Telegraph

See this extraordinary production this Friday and Saturday at 8pm in An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. Booking on 074 912 0777 or www.angrianan.com