When the Shoestring Theatre Company's world premiere of David Ireland's 'Cyprus Avenue,' the final play directed by Kevin O'Shea, opens at the Schoolyard Theatre Charleville on Friday night the 28th February for three nights only, it will feature among the five strong cast, members laden with acting awards and also two newcomers to the Charleville stage.
William Lyons, who plays the demanding role of Eric in the play, needs no introduction to local audiences. He is a former winner of the best actor award at the All-Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone for his performance of Norman McAlister in 'A Night to Remember' by Marie Jones. He also won the best actor award on seven other occasions on the festival circuit throughout the country for the same role.
William has also had roles in television commercials on RTE television and appeared on the Abbey Theatre's Peacock stage with the Shoestring production of Mark Doherty's 'Da' in 2015 when the Shoestring Company won the Abbey Theatre Award of that year, again under the direction n of Kevin O'Shea.
Eilis Casey, who plays the wife, Bernie, is equally successful on the amateur stage having won best actor awards at Haulbowline, Cobh, Kilmallock and Doonbeg festivals and in the All-Ireland One Act festival in Dundrum with the Shannonside Players from Co. Clare. Though she has had many memorable roles with the Shoestring Company, this will be her first role with group on the festival circuit, and she is eagerly looking forward to the challenge.
Derry Moloney who plays Slim in Cyprus Avenue is also a seasoned campaigner with the Shoestring having earned his stripes in their production as a brilliant McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in 2014. The UCC drama and English student is thrilled to be in a world amateur premiere, and is aiming for a big performance in the play, and to contesting the festival circuit for the first time.
The two newcomers are Ruth Sweeney, who is a native of Tarbert, Co. Kerry and a grand niece of the poet Brendan Kenneally. Ruth is a graduate of NUIG where she studied creative writing, and she too is eagerly looking forward to the role of the daughter in Cyprus Avenue.
Malawi native Jacqui Mackalhira will also be making her stage debut as the psychiatrist, which is the Shoestring Company's swan song production under the astute direction of Kevin O'Shea. Booking for this production is at 087-1804870 and curtain-up is at 8.15pm.