A HILARIOUS comedy from the pen of the late BAFTA award winning author, playwright and screenwriter Bridget O’Connor is currently making its Cork debut amid the intimate surroundings of the Cork Arts Theatre.
‘The Flags’ has strong links to the North Cork region as Bridget O’Connor’s father Jim O’Connor hails from Scarteen, Newmarket. In addition, one of the stars of the play, Dylan Kennedy who along wife his wife Jenny Fennessey is producing the play under the banner of their Red ‘ Blue Theatre Company, is a Glenville native.
The pair set up the company in 2018 after spending years in London working as extras on various productions. The Flags is their second production following on from a successful run of Abi Morgan’s ‘Love song’ at the Cork Arts Theatre and the Garter Lane in Jenny’s native Waterford.
Speaking to the Corkman Jenny said they were particularly keen to bring ‘The Flags’, which has been described by critics as a mixture between Martin McDonagh and Fr Ted, to Cork.
The play is centred around Howie and JJ, lifeguards on Ireland’s litter strewn ‘second worst beach’.
The pair have ambitions to fill a vacant lifeguard position, but first must overcome an inspection from their eagle-eyed boss who has a secret agenda of his own. The inept duo is thrown into further turmoil with the arrival of a mysterious young woman with surprising intentions.
“The Flags received tremendous accolades when it was first performed at the Manchester Exchange in 2006, enjoying a sold out run and winning three Manchester Theatre awards,” said Jenny.
She said that the director of the original run, Greg Hersoy, was determined to stage the play after reading the script, saying ‘it made me laugh out loud, which is a very rare thing’.
‘That was exactly how Dylan and I felt when we read the play. Bridget O’Connor wrote The Flags while she was living in Cork and we feel very privileged to be able to bring the very first Cork performance of this exceptional play to the city where its first seeds were sown,” said Jenny.
Bridget O’Connor penned several acclaimed collections of stories, plays and, together with husband Peter Straughan film screenplays, including an adaptation of John Le Carré’s novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy for which they won the 2011 BAFTA.
Sadly, Bridget passed away in 2010 from cancer at the age of 49.
“Bridget O’Connor was a truly exceptional writer and yet very few people from Cork know anything about her and the wonderful works she penned. We hope to remedy that by bringing ‘The Flags’ to Cork,” said Jenny.
Tickets for The Flags, which is running at the Cork Arts Theatre until June 11, are available through the venues website at www.corkartstheatre.com.