Melodramatic opening for Athlone Little Theatre’s autumn season

Cast members from 'The Second Mrs. Tanqueray' (back, l-r) Tina O'Hara, Paul Gill, Brian Toolan, Pearse Murphy, Emma O'Neill; and seated, front, Laura Geraghty and Frank O'Brien

Cast members from 'The Second Mrs. Tanqueray' (back, l-r) Tina O'Hara, Paul Gill, Brian Toolan, Pearse Murphy, Emma O'Neill; and seated, front, Laura Geraghty and Frank O'Brien

Athlone Little Theatre opens its autumn season on Friday, September 15 with the social drama The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.

Penned by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934 ), this play, unlikely to be immediately familiar to today's audiences, adopts what at the time was a scandalous "woman with a past" plot. Although less shocking to the modern theatre-goer, its attack on the hypocrisy and myth surrounding women in second marriages still packs a punch today.

Despite the warnings of his friends, the widowed Mr Tanqueray chooses to marry a woman from a lower class with a scandalous history. The new Mrs. Tanqueray must struggle to win over her new stepdaughter as she attempts to find balance in her mismatched marriage.

Events from the past begin to surface and threaten the already fragile relationships between classes and generations. As the tension builds, a resolution seems impossible, but a way out can always be found...

Never one to shirk from the challenge of making a costume drama relevant for a new audience, director Mel O'Flynn has drawn on the Little Theatre's extensive talent pool to bring this interesting production to the stage.

The charismatic Frank O'Brien takes on the role of Aubrey Tanqueray, with Laura Geraghty - who made an impressive debut in An Inspector Calls - as his second wife. Aubrey's daughter is played by new talent Emma O'Neill, and a host of Little Theatre actors complete the cast - Paul Breen, Annette Dowling, Paul Gill, Pearse Murphy, Tina O'Hara, Brandon Ryan, Joe Steiner, and Brian Toolan.

The supporting cast bring more than a touch of humour to events as they unfold, which ensures the serious underlying themes do not overwhelm the play's attractions.

With a set designed by an ever-professional Geoff Boles with the help of artist Olivia Grogan, lighting /sound by Pascal Goff and John Allen and stage management by Jill Moran and Deirdre Verney, this promises to be an evening of high entertainment.

The Second Mrs.Tanqueray will run nightly at 8pm from Friday, September 15 to Friday, September 22 at Athlone Little Theatre, St Mary's Place, Athlone. For online bookings see www.athlonelittletheatre.ie or phone (090 ) 6474324.

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