Athlone Little Theatre takes to the circuit again

Athlone Little Theatre is taking to the All-Ireland Festival circuit again with not just one but two plays.

This year Oliver Hegarty is directing two fantastic one-act plays for the competitive circuit.

With Bells On is a heartwarming and poignant comedy featuring two great characters - Ted played by Declan Finn and Natasha played by Martin Kelleher. Yes, Natasha is played by Martin Kelleher and boy does he look good in a dress! These two characters meet in a lift, Ted is unaware of Natasha’s secret but through their interaction and dialogue the penny starts to drop. This is a wonderfully written play and is full of comedy, but it also gives a great insight into human nature and Martin and Declan are just fantastic in these two contrasting roles.

The second play is The Last Crusader written by Dubliner Barry McKinley. It’s a tale of espionage and intrigue set in a Russian prison in the 1970s. The play opens with two priests, Fr Meara who is Irish and Fr Blake who is English, as prisoners in the cell. Their interaction tells us a lot about their characters - or does it?

Meara is a loud, blustery, rude, and funny man who seeks to shock the quiet, mild-mannered Blake at every opportunity. His fond memories of Marilyn Monroe certainly offend poor Blake’s sensibilities.

They are later joined by a further prisoner, a beaten and bruised Russian local thief called Tomas. The last character in the mix is a strange albino Russian officer called Captain Gleck, who has a very sinister side.

Why has this bunch been put together? The story unfolds with some great surprises.

John McGlynn and Ronan Flynn play Fathers Meara and Blake respectively, with Paul Slevin as Tomas and Malcolm Whelan as Gleck.

These two plays will provide a fantastic night’s entertainment in the Little Theatre next week as they run from Monday October 21 to Thursday October 24 before competing in their first festival in Birr on the Friday night, October 25.

Curtain is up at 8.30pm and all tickets are only €10. For more information call (090 ) 6474324.

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