DATE: 22,23,24,26,27 April & 3,4,5 May 2016
VENUE: Kilmainham Gaol, Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire, Civic Theatre, Tallaght, National Concert Hall
As part of our public engagement programme to commemorate the Decade of Centenaries (which began with the 3rd Home Rule Bill in 1912 and finishes with the end of the Irish civil war in 1921-22), UCD has commissioned a theatre piece in which eight world class Irish writers present the seven signatories, along with Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell, in a series of monologues, bringing the audience into their innermost thoughts.
The production will be a theatrical centrepiece of the commemorations for 2016. Its unique artistic composition is already drawing great public interest and it will provide an opportunity for intellectual discourse around the signatories that goes well beyond the circumstances of the Rising and places them in the wider cultural context. This extraordinary production is a piece of theatre magic.
Sending out commands, addressing the people, lying in Kilmainham Gaol, saying ‘goodbye’, facing the firing squad, being airbrushed out of public view, each writer presents an artistic response to the eight characters through voices that thread across deeply personal emotions. The production will be directed by Tony Award-winning director, Patrick Mason.
Book Tickets by following the link for each venue below
Kilmainham Gaol – 22,23,24 April 2016 – these are standing performances. The Gaol can be cold so please wrap up warmly! Parking is available in the nearby Royal Hospital Kilmanham car park, €2 for 3 hours. SOLD OUT
Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire – 26,27 April 2016 – these are seated performances. SOLD OUT
Civic Theatre, Tallaght – 3,4 May 2016 – these are seated performances
National Concert Hall – 5 May 2016 – this is a seated performances. UCD will take this opportunity to present renowned playwright Thomas Kilroy with the Ulysses Medal, the University’s highest honour.
A special edition publication also entitled Signatories will be released on opening night in Kilmainham Goal – 22 April 2016 – to coincide with the play and is available from UCD Press.
Elizabeth O’Farrell by Emma Donoghue, who was nominated for an Oscar for her screenplay of her novel Room.
Padraig Pearse by Thomas Kilroy, whose awards include the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Heinemann Award for Literature, the AIG Literary Prize and the Irish PEN award.
Éamonn Ceannt by Frank McGuinness, Tony Award winner, New York Drama Critics Circle award winner, and Irish PEN award winner.
Thomas MacDonagh by Marina Carr, winner of the EM Forster award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Susan Smith Blackburn prize for women playwrights.
Sean McDermott by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, winner of the Bisto Book of the Year and the Irish PEN award, as well as shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
James Connolly by Hugo Hamilton, winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Priz Femina Etranger, and the Premio Giuseppe Berto for French and Italian translations of his work.
Joseph Mary Plunkett by Joseph O’Connor, among his awards are France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, the Irish Post Award for Fiction, the Neilsen Bookscan Golden Book Award, an American Library Association Award, the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Hall of Fame Award, and the Prix Litteraire Zepter for European Novel of the Year.
Thomas Clarke by Rachel Fehily, a recent graduate of the playwriting strand of the UCD MA in Drama and Performance Studies and an emerging talent in the Irish theatre scene
The performance will be delivered by some of the country’s most outstanding actors;
Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell (Barbara Brennan)
Sean MacDiarmada (Roseanna Purcell)
Thomas MacDonagh (Stephen Jones)
Joseph Mary Plunkett (Shane O’Reilly)
Thomas Clarke (Joe Taylor)
Éamonn Ceannt (Ronan Leahy)
Padraig Pearse (Peter Gaynor)
James Connolly (Lisa Dwyer Hogg)
Produced by: Verdant Productions
Costume Designer: Catherine Fay
Music/Sound Designer: Denis Clohessy
PR: Conleth Teevan, 087 1221648
2016 marks the centenary of the Easter Rising, a seminal moment in the foundation of the Irish State. Often referred to as “the poets’ rebellion”, among its leaders were university scholars of English literature, history and Irish. Even though its effects were deep and lasting, the revolt itself was ill-fated; and ended ignominiously after just six days with the rebels rounded up and their leaders sentenced to death.
The signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic must have known that the Rising would be crushed militarily; must have dreaded the carnage and death; must have foreseen that, if caught alive, they would themselves be executed.
UCD played a central role in the emergence of the Irish State – from the culturally driven Gaelic Revival movement to the formation of the Irish Volunteers and Cumann na mBan; from the actual planning of the Easter Rising to the formation of the first Government; UCD lecturers, graduates and even students were part of the story of Irish independence.
The play will run at Kilmainham Gaol on 22/23/24 April, then move to the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire for 26/27 April, the Civic Theatre, Tallaght on 3/4 May and to the National Concert Hall on 5 May. A number of theatres around Ireland have approached us to take the play on tour so we are creating a touring version. We have also had approaches from the US, Australia and India. We are also in discussion with BBC Arts about a film version for television.