Rich veins of comedy and tragedy run through John B. Keane's Big Maggie - staged in Rosegreen this weekend.
The Rosegreen Players are in the final rehearsal for their production of Big Maggie, which will be staged at the Rosegreen Community Hall from Thursday, February 8, to Sunday, February 11.
Performances will begin at 8pm and booking is advisable. Tickets available from O’Dwyer’s Pharmacy, Main Street, Cashel, or from Pat Cummins at 087 2204034.
Big Maggie is set in rural Ireland during the 1960s where the recently widowed, Maggie Polpin, has inherited her late husband’s farm and shop. With upbeat 60s optimism, Polpin’s family ‒ two sons who work the farm, and two daughters who mind the house and shop ‒ are looking forward to the changes that will come with their own inheritance, only to find their hopes dashed and their visions of greater freedom and independence crushed, when Maggie gives them details of the will. The resultant tensions within the family are played out over the following 15 months and end up in bitter, even brutal, change.
Although, in Big Maggie, Keane deals mercilessly with the undercurrents of a changing rural Ireland, where supermarkets are ‘sprouting up like daisies’ and old religious, social and domestic certainties are under siege, he does so in typically acerbic and comic dialogue so that moments that are profoundly moving or disturbing can also be moments that are profoundly funny.
So, the ‘hardships’ of life met in the nerve-torn edges of the play ‒ death, dispossession, domestic violence and infidelity, sexual frustration and oppression, economic deprivation, shattered hopes and dreams ‒ are all as likely to be greeted with cruel mockery and indifference as with sympathy or compassion. The result is a play rich in the veins of both comedy and tragedy.
The part of Maggie Polpin is played by Marisa Costello. Her daughters, Katie and Gert are played by Irene Maher and Sinéad Ryan. Philip Ryan plays the elder son, Maurice, and Declan Burgess plays his brother, Mick. Tom Delahunty plays local neighbour and monumental sculptor, Mr. Byrne. John Cash plays a salesman, Teddy Healan. Maeve Mockler plays Maurice’s girlfriend, Mary Madden, and Catherine Moloney plays Mrs. Madden, her mother, Old Man and Old Woman are played by Fachanán Ó Seachnasaigh and Majella Lonergan.
Supporting crew: Pat Cummins, Ger Lonergan, Tom Delahunty, Breda Delahunty, Marie Devitt, Naomi Campbell, Eamonn Freir, Olivia Quinlan, Olive Ryan, Breda Culleton Marie Lonergan, Cormac Freir and Biddy Moloughney
The play is directed by Pat Cummins and Hugh O’Neill.