The ghost of Alice Kyteler set to return to Kilkenny

the spectacular, originally written and composed musical about an Anglo-Irish noblewoman, Alice Kyteler accused of witchcraft in the 14th century will return to the Marble City during the Kilkenny Arts Festival.

the spectacular, originally written and composed musical about an Anglo-Irish noblewoman, Alice Kyteler accused of witchcraft in the 14th century will return to the Marble City during the Kilkenny Arts Festival.

The haunting musical which tells the story of a Kilkenny woman accused of witchcraft opened at the The Watergate Theatre last October, and the moving production had theatre-goers on the edge of their seats and afraid to venture into the dark.

‘The Stone’ musical tells the story of Alice Kyteler – a rich woman who will do just about anything to stay rich and a bishop who will stop at nothing to destroy her. A superb new adaption of the musical ‘The Stone’ has been re-designed to come to life on stage at Alice’s original home, Kytelers Inn, for three performances from August 14-16.

Prepare to be amazed and astounded by a talented cast and fantastic musical numbers which tell the story of four husbands, famine, invasion, plague, a witch trial, burning at the stake, destroying the House of Kyteler and the collapsing of St. Canice’s Cathedral.

The show’s creators are all from Kilkenny and the original music and lyrics are written by singer/composer and director, Jason Paul Ryan and composer, Tom Bolger.

Dame Alice Kyteler’s case was one of the first of its kind, following not long after Pope John XXII added witchcraft to the list of heresies in 1320. Dame Alice was married four times. John le Poer, her fourth husband, was convinced that she was poisoning him. On his death her children immediately accused her of sorcery. Judgement was finally passed against her in 1325 by Richard de Le Drede, Bishop of Ossory. But the night before her scheduled execution she disappeared, never to be heard of again.

The story of the musical is based on the novel ‘The Stone’ by Claire Nolan who is also one of the co-collaborators of the stage show. Nolan herself gives another spooky element to the background of the show as on the wall of Alice’s former home in Kyteler’s Inn is a portrait of Dame Alice Kyteler which hangs beside a photograph of Claire Nolan. The duo, who are separated by hundreds of years, look like twin sisters.

In 2008 Claire Nolan, an administrator at the University College Dublin, originally from Kilkenny, published The Stone, a biography of the notorious noblewoman. And last year to co-incide with the opening of the musical, Claire released the second edition of ‘The Stone’ and it can be bought in all good book shops or visit www.clairenolan.com.

In ‘The Stone’ musical Alice Kyteler is played by Rebecca Murphy; her servants Philip of Kilkenny played by Jason Paul Ryan and his forbidden love Petronella de Meath by Sarah Brennan, William Kyteler is played by Niall Bambrick, Bishop Richard Le Drede by Chubby Brennan and Friar John Glyn by David Brydone. Visit the website www.thestonemusical.com for more information. For tickets contact Kytelers Inn, Kieran Street, Kilkenny.