SLIABH Aughty Drama Group will present their production of Unforgiven, by playwright John McDwyer, this week as they prepare to go on the amateur drama circuit.
The play follows the group’s traditional leaning towards comedy and this production has plenty of humour. It tells the story of brothers, PJ and Seamy, in rural Ireland, whose lives up to now have revolved around movies, puzzles and unrequited love.
When it opens, the two brothers are waiting for their father to die and the elder of the two brothers, PJ, has set his sights on marrying his neighbour, Mary, once his father is eventually out of the picture. Matters are complicated by another brother, who lives in America but returns home for the funeral. He was in love with Mary before leaving and settling in America 25 years previously.
PJ is vying for Mary’s attention and Seamy holds a watching brief, while PJ plans his happily ever after.
Director, John Allen said, “The younger brother fell out with the father about 25 years ago. He told him that if he heard more than one word coming out of his mouth, he would strangle him. So after spending 25 years giving one-word answers to anything that he has been asked, near the end of the play, Seamy who has only ever said one word to the father goes into a big long spiel about Unforgiven, giving a synopsis of the movie. It is an enjoyable play and if those going to see it do get a chance to see the film Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood, it is relative to the play.”
John said the older brother has a collection of videos and spends his time watching them. “He kind of lives in a parallel universe according to Hollywood,” he said.
There are four in the cast. Ruth McMahon is a new member of the group and plays the role of Mary, the neighbour. Meanwhile, Noel Hogan, Fergus Dermody and Shane Kelly take on the roles of the brothers. The character of the father is voiced off stage.
The play opens in Mountshannon hall this Friday and Saturday and thereafter it will be going on the amateur drama circuit, beginning at the Doonbeg Drama Festival next Tuesday, before going on to Kildare Drama Festival on March 11 and returning to East Clare for the Clare Drama Festival in Scariff on March 20.
John believes this is the first time the play has gone on the amateur circuit and said it was chosen after the author sent it to him by post.
“We did Thy Will Be Done two years ago and after we were in the All-Ireland with that play, the script arrived into me in the post from the author. It’s kind of onto Thy Will be Done. He just sent it to me. I’d never even heard of him before that. I felt we should do it because I reckon it is a strong play and well written. It’s also a laugh a minute, which is always good. We enjoy the comedies; there is enough serious stuff going on,” he concluded.
Unforgiven will be performed on Friday and Saturday in Mountshannon Hall, with doors opening each night at 8pm for an 8.30pm curtain.