Monday 21 October 2019

Millstreet audience revel in the drama of the Healy Raes

John Tarrant

A marvellous hosting saw drama enthusiasts come out in huge numbers for the Killarney Theatre Company's presentation of 'The Rise and Rise of the Healy Raes' at the Millstreet GAA Community Hall.

Writer Ray O'Sullivan and his cast won the admiration of an enthusiastic attendance that gave a vote of confidence to a play focusing on one of the most high-profile political families in Ireland.

"A day without laughter is a wasted day. The story of the Healy-Raes is one which has been told in many ways over the years, but this is the first time it's been played out on stage. In many ways, it was a drama waiting to unfold, and I'm thrilled to complete my ambition of penning my first play on stage," said Ray.

The play is the hilarious and sometimes poignant story of bachelor brothers Densey and PJ Doona, who appear time-locked in a life of loneliness and celibacy in their small family farm in Kerry. However, foreign women, love, elections and politics combined to change their lives, with the well-oiled Healy-Rae machine at the centre of a dramatic transformation.

A former Scór champion, Cork native Ray O'Sullivan is thrilled to see the production earn a series of heartening receptions.

"It's a delight to see that people have enjoyed it so much; director Aidan O'Connor has turned something ordinary into something we believe is very, very special, and the Millstreet audience gave us a terrific reception", he said.

The director applauded Ray O'Sullivan for his talent as a storyteller and understanding of the Healy-Rae machine, and bringing to life a story entailing sharp wit and the people they represent.

"What Ray and cast have done in this play is capture the sense of fun and humour that is part of Irish politics. For many, politics is a sport, a cruel and bloody one at times. However, fun, controversy and razzmatazz are hallmarks stamped on every single Healy-Rae election that followed Jackie's co-option to Kerry County Council in 1973", said Aidan.

The show will continue this  Saturday with a performance at the Palace Theatre, Fermoy. 

Tickets can be pre-booked at the Box Office on (025) 32042 or from Ray at (087) 227 9657.