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A Wake in the West for Moynalty stage

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 13th February, 2013 5:30pm

 A Wake in the West for Moynalty stage

Phelim Gargan as Father Cassidy, and Michael Lynch as Tom Healy.

The spirit of 1970s West of Ireland is set to be resurrected in the forthcoming production from Moynalty Drama Group. 'A Wake In The West', written by Mayo playwright Michael J Ginnelly, tells the tale of the passing of a local villager and the hapless efforts of his family and friends to have him laid to rest.

The late Tom Healy liked tow things in life - a drink and giving his family a hard time. Now that he has drunk himself to death, one might think those pastimes would be gone but his dying wishes - to be cremated and ashes spread at sea - means that he ends up tormenting his family as much in death as in life. Along the way there is an elderly kleptomaniac, a translantic love story, an ill-treated corpse and a possessed set of dentures to contend with, bringing a whole new meaning to the term "ghost village".

The cast features several newcomers - including Stefanie Fitzsimons and Michael Lynch - alongside familiar faces from the group's previous productions. One of the most familiar faces from the Moynalty Drama Group is Terry Nevin who has starred in many of the group's previous productions but is making a first appearance in the director's chair. "A Wake In The West is an archetypal Irish sitcom in that it combines the most solemn of situations with unrelenting comedy," says Terry.

The play also pays a comedic tribute to the thight-knit nature of Irish village life - nothing brings people together like a wake - and Terry hopes that this notion of community spirit will strike a chord with the villagers of Moynalty and the surrounding area.

"We are working very hard to make this as professional a production as possible and we hope the local community will support us as much as they have in the past. In return, we promise to send them all home laughing."

The March Production will be just one of the many events that the Moynalty Drama Group hopes to put on this year. Presindent Michael D Higgins has made the arts a centrepiece of The Gathering initiative and the group plans to play its part in the nationwide celebration of Irish culture with some new productions in August as part of the Moynalty Gathering event.

A Wake In The West will run from Friday March 1st to Sunday March 3rd at the Muintir Na Tire Hall in Moynalty. Tickets are available from February and can be purchased by calling the ticket hotline on 087-751-2230.