A trip to the sweet shop with Fregoli

Galway’s Fregoli Theatre Company presents Maria Tivnan’s debut play, The Sweet Shop, in the Town Hall Theatre Studio, from Wednesday June 27 to Friday 29 at 8.30pm.

The play revolves around the close relationship between Michael and Cass, played by Jarlath Tivnan and Kate Murray.

Michael returns to his local town to take over the running of his sick father’s sweet shop. Here he encounters Cass, his closest childhood friend who has also returned to the town because of familial obligations. The sight of each other catapults both Michael and Cass into internal conflict as they relive their past and question their present and future. However this is no mere kitchen-sink drama.

The Sweet Shop blurs the boundaries of the real and the imaginary, playing between the past and the present, the internal and the external. Employing Fregoli’s characteristic style, both actors play multiple characters, incorporating music, voice, and movement in an energetic performance.

“It’s about a moment when two people who’ve spent a lot of their childhood and teens together re-meet unexpectedly,” explains author and co-director Maria Tivnan. “What the play goes through is their story and it comes back to that moment again. It’s like when you meet someone and they’re very much part of your past life and all these thoughts and images go through your head when you’re making small talk. It’s about the idea of friendship and duty and home and childhood.”

Tivnan expands on the nature of the relationship between Michael and Cass.

“They were best friends and both of them came from home situations that weren’t ideal,” she says. “Michael left when he was 17 so their relationship never became more than friendship but perhaps it could have if it had a chance. It’s a story that is dark and sad in places but not in others; no matter what the theme of our work is we always try to entertain and to have humour as well.”

She is at pains to share the creative plaudits for creating the piece with her fellow company members.

“We all worked on this together so it wasn’t just me handing over a script,” she says. “I went through about five drafts with Rob McFeely, who’s co-directing, and the actors so I wouldn’t take all the credit for it.”

It looks like being a busy summer for Fregoli as the company also feature in the Galway Fringe Festival, where they will present thier acclaimed staging of Raymond Scannell’s Breathing Water in Kelly’s Bar from July 14 to 17.

Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 and www.tht.ie

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