Secrets and Fries - duo of one-act dramas up next for Athlone Little Theatre

Martin Kelleher and Annette Dowling in rehearsal for The Chip Van Plays Dixie

Martin Kelleher and Annette Dowling in rehearsal for The Chip Van Plays Dixie

Following on from the success of their recent Neil Simon comedy, there is a change of pace for Athlone Little Theatre, as two one-act plays come to the stage later this month.

Running from Saturday, October 22 to Friday, October 28 the two plays are linked by their themes of reflection and revelation, but there the similarities end, with one taking a darker and the other a somewhat lighter approach to the subject matter.

In War Stories by Emma Gibson and Rob Johnston, Australian nurse Elsie embarks on a life-changing journey in 1916 when she leaves Australia to serve in the Great War. It is a journey that takes her halfway across the world to a French hospital in the middle of a battle-ravaged Europe. There she meets Manchester soldier Bernard, injured on the Western Front and now struggling to piece together what remains of his fractured memory. Elsie has many stories to tell. Bernard needs to find only one. Can Elsie help Bernard tell the one story he must?

This poignant and powerful piece is skilfully directed by the experienced Ollie Hegarty, and brought vividly to life by two mesmerising young actors, Cherise O'Moore and Jonathan Kilduff.

The Chip Van Plays Dixie by Robert Iles is a bittersweet comedy set on a bench outside a cemetery where two strangers meet. Gary is a local man who has lost his wife and Babs a woman on her way to Australia who feels she has lost everything – but in the end they find they share more than they would have expected, including a love of chips, real chips.

With the deft hand of director Paddy Martin to draw out the comedy and the tragedy, Little Theatre favourites Martin Kelleher and Annette Dowling make this a genuinely touching and uplifting performance.

War Stories and The Chip Van Plays Dixie will run nightly at 8pm from October 22-28 at Athlone Little Theatre, St Mary's Place, Athlone. For online bookings see www.athlonelittletheatre.ie or phone (090 ) 6474324.

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