One of the principal roles in the musical On a Wing and a Prayer will herald a welcome return to the stage by Leitrim-born Cynthia Clampett who will play Dame Judy Coyne. Mrs Coyne and her husband, Judge Liam Coyne, were instrumental in reviving interest in Knock Shrine, and she founded the handmaids and stewards, provided facilities for the sick, and had a broad vision for the development of the Shrine. She was also responsible for commissioning the statues at the apparition gable in Knock. She died in 2002.
It is appropriate that Cynthia Clampett is playing the role, for she is CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation which is the beneficiary of the premiere performances of the musical in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, from November 25 to 27. The show has been described as the hottest ticket in the west this year. Cynthia has been involved in amateur dramatics and musicals for many years. From her early days in school musicals to a role in the stage show Money Money Money in the Tops of the Towns, performing in the John Player Theatre, Dublin. She performed with the Roscommon Drama Group in the acclaimed historical tribute Voices from a Famished Land to mark the 150th anniversary of the famine, which was performed for President Mary McAleese and staged in theatres throughout Ireland and also in America and Scotland.
The musical was created by Terry Reilly who wrote the book On A Wing and a Prayer, and the Castlebar shows have been co-written by Terry and Tommy Marren of Mid West Radio. More than 100 volunteers from throughout the region have been in rehearsal for the show since early September.
Tickets can be obtained from The Royal Theatre, Castlebar, the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation offices at Knock, Ticketmaster, or Ireland West Airport, Knock.