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Swords play heading for US

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David Gilna at Swords Castle. (pic by Fintan Clarke)

David Gilna at Swords Castle. (pic by Fintan Clarke)

David Gilna at Swords Castle. (pic by Fintan Clarke)

The first play performed in Swords Castle is heading for America in what is a tremendous boost for the potential of the Swords Cultural Quarter to deliver a positive platform for the arts in Fingal.

The award-winning playwright and performer David Gilna from Swords, featured in last week's Fingal Independent, will make his playwright debut in New York with his award-winning play My Bedsit Window starring Sarah Ryan, Alan Kelly and Michael Mellamphy.

David has been involved and supported by Fingal Arts for many years, his play 'The Unsung Hero' launched the renovated Atrium in County Hall and his play 'My Bedsit Window' was the first play staged in Swords Castle in 2014.

'My Bedsit Window' was described in reviews as 'Wrapped up in a myriad of mesmerising characters who - through Gilna's energetic vocal agility - burst open the emotional highs and lows of this true story 'My Bedsit Window' is a play for today - highly charged - highly recommended.'

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Eoghan O'Brien said: 'Fingal has a widespread and deep artistic culture. David is a brilliant local playwright with a great love and understanding of where he has come from. This next step in his career is recognition of this talent and we all wish him and his crew the best of luck in New York.'

Margaret Geraghty, Director of Housing and Community for Fingal County Council said: 'David Gilna has been involved with the Arts department for many years now with a highlight being the performance of his play My Bedsit Window at Swords Castle.

That performance showed the immense potential of Swords Castle as a key part in the development of Swords Cultural Quarter which looks to develop and deliver culturally for Swords and Fingal. I am delighted to hear about this news, hope it inspires other Fingal playwrights and that they know that the Arts department of Fingal County Council are there to support them. I wish David, all the actors and his team the best in their debut shows in New York.'

Fingal Arts Officer, Rory O'Byrne said: 'Fingal Arts Office is committed to supporting our local artists and is delighted to see and support the success of local playwright David Gilna with his play 'My Bedsit Window'.'

David has sought to build relationships between Fingal artists and the Irish American community through the work of his plays.

The opportunity to showcase his work in New York city is an opportunity of a lifetime.

David Gilna said about the news: 'I was honoured to have my first rehearsed reading of my play with The Irish American Writers and Artists Salon this week introducing my work as a playwright.

'The people and places of Fingal inspire my work as a playwright. I would thank all those who have helped me achieve all of this.'

David was due to be on tour in America and Canada with his new show 'A Bolt From D'Blue' but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 health emergency but when one door closes another opportunity presents itself.

David teamed up with Fingal local Sarah Ryan who is now based in New York. They met each other through their love of Performing Arts in Swords, Dublin and studied Theatre Studies in college together.

The two other actors cast are, star of stage and screen Michael Mellamphy and another Fingal local Alan Kelly.

David commented further: 'Alan and I trained at The National Performing Arts School together as kids.

'It was ran by Jill Doyle and Eamon Farrell and we shared The Olympia stage together over many years, so when Sarah told me the cast, I was over the moon to be working with three amazing actors but also two fellow Fingal natives.

'Collaborating with Sarah Ryan has been a dream ticket as we work together to connect my plays to an Irish American audience.

'As all the world's theatres are sleeping right now, the cast are set in place and are just waiting to begin production when the crisis abates.'

Fingal Independent