IT was an affectionate gathering for Torch Players in the back bar of Bobby Byrnes’ the other night for the launch of this year’s show. Jon Kenny was a giving light around tables filled with Torches’ Maurice O’Sullivan, Mary Harvey, Paul McCarthy, Chris Rowley, Sharon Coffey and as director Maurice politely called them, to jibes from his stalwarts, “the younger but experienced” Pius McGrath, Peter Hayes, Jeanne O’Connor and Mary Jones.
This is the cast he selected for Brian Friel’s The Communication Cord, set to run in [email protected] Cecil Street from Tuesday March 10 to Sunday 15, 8pm.
A comment first from Jon Kenny on the viability of amateur drama in an economy spiralling downwards, specifically with application to Torch Players: “We were rivals for years when I was with the Anvil Players, both of us chasing the holy grail, the one great Esso trophy”. Speaking of his delight in launching news of the Friel play, Kenny had heartening insights to offer on the big picture:
“We don’t need as much as we think we do. The less you have , the more you use. A little passion goes a long way…Amateur drama is what we need now, the role of amateur drama is on a level with community and is about community”.
Back to Friel’s community in Donegal and argy bargy in this two-act play fuelled by the urban elite on a weekend retreat. Pius and Pat gave Arts page a thumbnail sketch on what lies ahead: roguery over a job and cottage title gather in the eight-strong cast for theatrics. The two men, who play best friends in the play, agree that behind the laughs, “on another level, it’s about how people do and don’t communicate with one another”.
Maurice has long wanted to do something that honours Friel’s 80 years and this was cast before Christmas.
“It’s a very funny play and we thoroughly enjoying it. At the beginning it’s verbose but once the storyline is established, it fairly gallops along. The Communication Cord is Friel’s only outright farce. He followed up Translations with this play, a kind of a send up of his own sentiments in Translations”. Book to secure the night you want over the six performances.