Athlone Little Theatre celebrates its 80th year in existence with a production of Sean O’Casey’s tragicomedy, The Shadow of a Gunman, from December 3-9.
This classic drama is set in the slums of Dublin in 1920 in the midst of the guerrilla fighting between the IRA and the Black and Tans.
However, in stark contrast to the serious subject matter, O’Casey’s working-class characters are infused with a humour that director Billy Nott has brought to the fore.
The action centres around the poet Donal Davoren (Ronan Flynn ) whose neighbours live under the illusion that he is an IRA hero. He shares a room in a Dublin tenement with pedlar Seumas Shields, played by Harry Smith. One day Mr Maguire (Paul Slevin ), another pedlar and a real IRA gunman, leaves a briefcase containing explosives with them. When Maguire is shot and the Black and Tans raid the apartment, the pair are saved by Minnie Powell (Jo Moore ), an admirer of Davoren. The consequences of Davoren’s bluff are nonetheless far-reaching...
Fine acting by the likes of Ann Hoey (Mrs Henderson ), Chrissie Killian (Mrs Grigson ), and Jim Quinlan (Mr Mulligan, the landlord ), and newer talents Ernie Draper, Dermot McElwaine, and Anthony Merrigan make this a production not to be missed.
The Shadow of a Gunman will run nightly at 8pm from Saturday, December 3 to Friday, December 9 at Athlone Little Theatre, St Mary’s Place, Athlone. For online bookings see www.athlonelittletheatre.ie or phone (090 ) 6474324.
This event is supported by Westmeath County Council and the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the 1916 centenary commemorations.