Lifford Players, this year marking their 60th anniversary of entertaining Donegal audiences, are bringing the powerful play ‘Shadowlands’ to An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny later this month.
The Players will produce William Nicholson’s award-winning play at An Grianán at 8pm on April 18th and 19th.
‘Shadowlands’ tells the story of the relationship between Chronicles of Narnia author and Oxford Don C.S. Lewis and New York poet, Helen Joy Davidman, an admirer of Lewis’s work. Davidman and her son, Douglas, invade Lewis’s quiet world of Oxford intellectuals, and the play charts the couple’s journey from a letter-writing correspondence, through friendship and a marriage of convenience, to finally a “marriage of true minds”. The result is both true love story and tragedy.
The Lifford Players’ production, directed by Anne Kelly, features Alan Haslett as C.S. Lewis, Lisa Harley as Helen Joy Davidman, James McGarrigle as the Rev. Harry Harrington, Leo McBride as Warney and Michael Kelly as the doctor. The part of Douglas is played on alternating nights by two talented young Letterkenny actors, Darragh Morrison and Niall Hannigan. Lighting is by Justin O’Doherty.
This latest production continues the strong tradition the Players began 60 years ago. Over the decades, Lifford Players have played a major part in the cultural life of the county, bringing many fine productions to Letterkenny audiences.
In earlier years, Aussie Bryson, Margaret Dunne, Terry O’Doherty and Maurice Sweeney were the Players stalwarts that performed such plays as ‘All Soul’s Night’, ‘Macook’s Corner’, ‘Translations’ and ‘The Passing Day’. In those days, the plays were performed in the Loreto Convent hall or at St. Eunan’s College.
In later years, the Players moved their productions to the luxury of An Grianán in Letterkenny. There the Players’ productions featured fine performances from Sean McCormack, Noel Sweeney, John O’Doherty, Fergus Cleary and Ronnie White in plays as varied as ‘The Crucible’, ‘Twelve Angry Men’, ‘Our Town’ and ‘Waiting for Godot’; as well as Rita Gleeson, Anne Kelly and Anne Shiels in Brian Friel’s classic, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’.
And who can forget the brilliant and brooding performance of the late Frank McCarron in ‘Twelve Angry Men’?
More recently, Lifford Players productions have included fine performances from Patrick McBrearty, Michael Kelly and Kieran Kelly in such plays as ‘Philadelphia, Here I Come’ and ‘The Black Stranger’.
Tickets for ‘Shadowlands’ are available through the An Grianán box office on (074) 9120777.