Thursday 23 November 2017

Change of scene as 'Signatories' takes to stage

Shane O’Reilly plays Joseph Mary Plunkett, in the segment written by Joseph O’Connor, in UCD & Verdant productions’ ‘Signatories’ at Kilmainham Gaol
Shane O’Reilly plays Joseph Mary Plunkett, in the segment written by Joseph O’Connor, in UCD & Verdant productions’ ‘Signatories’ at Kilmainham Gaol
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Having moved from the historic, if slightly chilly, setting of Kilmainham Gaol to the plush Olympia Theatre, 'Signatories' raised its curtain last night.

The production centres around the signatories of the Proclamation of Independence and nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell, who delivered the rebels' surrender. Some of Ireland's most acclaimed writers, including Thomas Kilroy, Hugo Hamilton, Frank McGuinness, Marina Carr, Joseph O'Connor and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Emma O'Donoghue, penned monologues for the show.

The drama consists of a series of monologues reflecting the innermost thoughts of the signatories of the Proclamation at the time of the Easter Rising in 1916.

It was premiered in Kilmainham in April of this year and has returned due to popular demand.

Joseph O'Connor was in charge of writing Joseph Mary Plunkett's monologue.

O'Connor focused on Plunkett's fleeting union to Grace Gifford.

"They were only married 10 minutes, which is why they were so happy," he joked.

The idea for the show was dreamt up by Frank McGuinness and it is directed by Tony-winner Patrick Mason.

Marina Carr, who has written Thomas McDonagh's monologue, had to revisit her history books in preparation.

Barbara Brennan plays Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell and rising star Shane O'Reilly takes on the role of Joseph Mary Plunkett.

The show will run at the Olympia until Saturday .

Irish Independent

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