Wednesday 16 October 2019

Hawk's Well Theatre celebrates 30 years of world-famous play

Jessica Farry

Theatre goers will have not one, but two chances to experience one of Ireland's most respected playwrights in mid-October, when Donal O'Kelly returns to the Hawk's Well Theatre.

Involved in acting, writing and directing in Irish theatres for almost forty years, Donal will be celebrating thirty years of his world-travelled play 'Bat The Father Rabbit The Son', as well as presenting his 'Sailing Solo: Creating Your Own Show' workshop at the popular Temple street venue.

'Sailing Solo: Creating Your Own Show' comes to the Hawk's Well this Saturday, October 20th.

It's a unique opportunity to learn from a performer who specialises in drawing the audience into an imaginary world using words and simple performance skills that immerse an audience in a story.

"The idea is to combine writing and performance. The morning will consist of people writing their own pieces, while in the afternoon they will learn how to use performance methods," Donal O'Kelly told The Sligo Champion.

He added: "I've been doing this for 30 years and I've reached that stage where I think that maybe I have a few tricks that I could teach people, tricks that maybe I've collected over the years. I'd be only glad to show them to people."

Four days later, on Wednesday October 24th, O'Kelly's 'Bat The Father Rabbit The Son' will come to the Hawk's Well.

The play is set in Dublin in the 1980s, and centres on Rabbit, a self-made haulage magnate. But something's wrong. He cuts a deal with his underling Keogh to help him find his lost moorings. The quest is hampered by his dead father Bat, Citizen Army volunteer and pawn shop assistant, bubbling up. The struggle between father and son, past and present, imagination and reality, spans Dublin.

It's the show's 30th anniversary, and Donal decided he would take it on a small tour once again, a small tour that turned into 30 venues.

"The show was a big hit in New York 30 years ago when it began, it got great reviews but I was sort of homesick when I was there. Once it started to do well all the Irish emigrants were coming to Manhattan to see it, it reminded them of home I suppose.

"It became a big hit and then they only started taking credit card bookings and the audience changed a bit but it was nice to be the toast of New York for a while."

Donal continues to write plays, which he has done since a young age.

He has always had an interest in plays and he will continue to write and perform plays for as long as he can.

"The word retirement doesn't come into your vocabulary in this industry."

Bat The Father Rabbit The Son comes to the Hawk's Well on Wednesday 24th October at 8pm. Tickets €15/12conc./7.50 u18s (+ €1 renovation fee). Sailing Solo: Creating Your Own Show takes place on Sat 20 Oct from 11am - 4pm. Tickets €40 (+ €1 renovation fee). To book your place visit or call 0719161518.

Sligo Champion