Athlone Little Theatre will be taking on the dual challenge of presenting two masters of the dramatic form in one, with their upcoming production of Henrik Ibsen’s classic, An Enemy of the People, adapted by Arthur Miller.
Opening on Thursday, October 8, and running for nine successive nights until Friday, October 16, the play is set in Norway at the turn of the 20th century. Focussing on the conflict between two brothers - and a conflict between the freedom and suppression of speech - Arthur Miller’s adaptation in the 1950s streamlined the plot, making it more engaging and accessible.
When Dr Thomas Stockmann, medical officer of Kirsten Springs, discovers that the town’s water is poisoned, he does what any responsible citizen would do: reports it to the authorities. But Stockmann’s good deed has the potential to ruin the town’s reputation as an up-and-coming spa destination, and instead of being hailed as a hero, Stockmann is labelled an enemy of the people.
Directed by Mel O’Flynn, who last year directed the hugely successful Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie, with set design by Geoffrey Boles (also from Witness ) this production features a stellar cast.
Taking on the role of the protagonist Dr Stockmann, is the superb Frank O’Brien, equally matched in talent by Paul Gill, who plays his brother, the mayor. Sean O Laoide captures the wily character of Thomas’s father-in law with a ruthlessness masked with comedy, while Thomas’s wife, Katherine, is ably played by Sally Knight.
Experienced Little Theatre actors Billy Nott, Michael Dillon, and Paul Breen are key to generating the spiralling sense of tension in this production, with fresh talent provided by Brian Toolan and Aideen Egan.
As ever, Athlone Little Theatre’s backstage crew can be relied upon to provide the technical assistance, and they include Anthony Quinn as lighting/sound engineer and Bronagh Connolly as stage manager.
An Enemy of the People will run nightly at 8pm from October 8-16 at Athlone Little Theatre, St Mary’s Place, Athlone. For online bookings see www.athlonelittletheatre.ie or phone (090 ) 6474324.