Top-notch trio for theatre’s ‘Little Gem’

Athlone Little Theatre has announced details of its upcoming production, Little Gem by Dublin playwright, Elaine Murphy.

Running for eight nights, from Friday, November 17 to Friday, November 24, advance booking is strongly recommended.

Since its initial performance in Tallaght in 2008, the play has had sell-out performances in the Peacock Theatre and the Olympia Theatre, as well as at the Edinburgh Festival, in London, Australia, and New York. It has won several awards, including the Stewart Parker prize (playwright ) and the Carol Tambor prize for Best Play at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The style of the play is that of interwoven monologues - giving us access to the emotional lives of its three female characters, Amber (daughter ), Lorraine (mother ) and Kay (grandmother ), who are each caught up in their individual struggles. This life-affirming jewel is a hugely resilient and optimistic love poem to the spirit of women from the marginalised, less privileged corners of our society.

The play gives us a glimpse into the generational and emotional gaps between these three authentic working class Dublin women. Although from the outset each character is clearly locked into their own world, towards the end of the play, somehow, the lives of these wonderfully complex characters are drawn together by stories of desire, uncertainty, copulation, betrayal, loss, birth and love.

Directed by Ollie Hegarty, the superb cast of Anne Hoey, Lorraine Harney and Leah Egan promise to deliver passionate, hilarious, and heart-warming performances, which befit this little gem.

Anne (Kay ) has always attracted exceptional reviews and acclaim for her performances in All Ireland One Act drama competitions. Her versatility and charismatic performances have allowed her to take on a huge variety of roles, from classic and modern to panto, and her Little Theatre appearances are always a big draw.

Leah Egan, Anne's real-life daughter, plays Amber. Leah is instantly recognisable from her TV work, including Louise Doyle in RTE's Fair City. She recently won Best Actress Award for her performance as Ria Wade in Life Begins Now in the Elevation Indie Film Festival 2017 and the Ambassador Film Festival 2017.

Lorraine Harney will have no difficulty measuring up to her fellow actors. Having starred in numerous plays and musicals, including the Little Theatre's production of Willy Russell's One for the Road, she has a natural ease and confidence that makes her portrayal of her namesake only too believable.

Little Gem, by arrangement with Nick Hern Books, will run nightly at 8pm from Friday, November 17 to Friday, November 24 at Athlone Little Theatre, St Mary's Place, Athlone.

For online bookings see www.athlonelittletheatre.ie or phone (090 ) 6474324.

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