Brid Richardson plays the stoic matriarch Big Maggie Polpin in New Ross next week
New Ross Drama Workshop are putting the finishing touches to this year’s production, John B. Keane play ‘Big Maggie’.
It will be staged from Thursday to Saturday, April 26 to 28 inclusive, in St. Michael’s Theatre New Ross, under the imaginative direction of Margaret Rossiter.
Margaret has directed many of the group’s previous productions including their most recent productions of ‘All My Sons’, and ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’
The play highlights to us that Irish society in the 1960s was patriarchal. Up until his death Walter Polpin, Maggie’s adulterous husband, clearly held the power.
After his death Maggie becomes stronger, more determined, resolute and self-assured; an imposing and intimidating woman who embodies the social developments of the 20th century and sets about ‘knocking her children into line’ in the manner she sees fit, always with their best interests at heart.
Brid Richardson plays the stoic matriarch Big Maggie Polpin.
Nicky Flynn, Peter Rothwell, Brid Moloney and Seona O’ Connor play her long suffering children and really demonstrate the fractious relationships Maggie has with each of her children.
Mr Byrne, the stonemason with romantic intent is played with great aplomb by Peter O’ Connor with Edward Hayden taking on the role of the sweet talking womaniser Teddy Heelin.
Mary Madden and her mother are played by Sinead Croarkin and Martina Kavanagh. Making up the ensemble, playing Maggie’s prying neighbours, are theatre veterans Peggy Hussey and John Dywer. Other members of the group will be involved in a chorus style function for the play so keep an eye out for them.
“ I chose to direct Big Maggie as the text of this John B. Keane classic play interested me greatly as it explores universal themes of family, revenge and power struggles and my invitation originally to the cast but now to our audience is to look beyond Maggie and to come on a journey with us in an attempt to understand Maggie and her actions and indeed to explore ‘why Maggie is as she is’ and invariably allow the audience to decide whether she’s right or wrong,” Margaret said.
The set is designed by Terry Brennan and Macdara Murray, lighting by Paul Malone and the back stage team will be led by Kate O’ Keeffe as stage manager ably assisted both front and back of house by Paul Walsh and Bride Walsh, Joe Bridges, Carol Stacey, Margaret Saunders, Anne Kelly, Tom Doyle, Brian Geoghegan and Cait Foran.
Jenny Murphy O’Neill of Vibe Salon is creating a series of time appropriate hair styles for the cast, Kitty Warren is on make up with Mary Hennelly, Peggy Hussey and Ann Kissane in charge of costuming for the show.
Big Maggie can be seen in St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross from Thursday, April 26 to Saturday, April 28th with curtain up at 8pm. Tickets cost €12 and can be booked at the theatre box office on 051-421255.