Derry actor Conor O'Kane returns with acclaimed musical 'In The Midst of Plenty' set during The Famine / An Gorta Mór
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Roscommon-based Enchanted Croi Theatre has recently embarked on a 15-venue nationwide tour of the new folk musical ‘In the Midst of Plenty,’ with book, music, and lyrics by Amy Day, and the show will tour to the Waterside Theatre on Tuesday, June 20.
The show features Conor O’Kane, who recently starred as young John Hume in HUME: Beyond Belief, among a cast of 15 performers from across Ireland, and a live on-stage folk band.
Set in Roscommon, it tells the stories of cottier tenants as they survived through the years of the Great Irish Famine.
‘In the Midst of Plenty’ debuted last year with sold-out performances and rave reviews in the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park and the Roscommon Arts Centre. Its 2023 tour is selling out venues and receiving standing ovations from audiences.
The show explores themes of Irish womanhood, family, community, and rebellion, peeling back the curtain of antiquity surrounding the Great Hunger, and presents the reality of this true story in all of its bare, heartfelt authenticity.
The piece has been hailed by audiences and critics alike as an empowering story of strength, loss, resilience, and family connection.
“I’m delighted to be returning to my home city with another production so soon after finishing HUME: Beyond Belief,” says Conor, who plays the role of Andrew Connor, the secret society mastermind of the assassination of the estate’s landlord.
“It means the world to me to be able to perform here, where I’ve witnessed first-hand the immense and immersive power of art when it comes to understanding our shared history.”
“It has been incredible to safeguard a story of a community that lost so much,” explained Anne-Marie O’Sullivan, the show’s Artistic Director.
“The theatre piece exposes the complexities that led to such a mass tragedy whilst celebrating the inextinguishable bravery of the people who put their life on the line to create change. The production has weaved together such an array of creative, talented people. It has most definitely been one of the most inspiring and meaningful pieces of theatre that I have had the privilege to be a caretaker of to date.”
The company includes Julie Sharkey (No Magic Pill), Martin Gilligan (Ros na Rún), Mary Claire Ryan (Banshees of Inisherin), Bláthnaid Daly (An Triail), Áine O’Brien (Nationwide), Eoghan Burke (Playboy of the Western World), Niall Brewster (Squinty, Galway Fringe), Anne-Marie O’Sullivan (Enchanted Croí Theatre), and Ruairí Nicholl (Spring Awakening), and the band includes renowned trad fiddler Neil FitzGibbon, acclaimed folk artist Gráinne Hunt (recently supporting Glen Hansard and Declan O’Rourke), Tracy Bruen, Jules Stewart, and Amy Day.
The Irish tour of ‘In the Midst of Plenty’ has already traveled to Mullingar, Longford, Cavan, Galway, Westport, Sligo, and Donegal, and will also tour to Roscommon, Carlow, Waterford, Tipperary, Dublin, and the Cavan Calling Festival.
Enchanted Croí Theatre was founded in 2019 by Anne-Marie O’Sullivan, and in the last year has produced 11 theatrical events that have reached more than 4000 ticketed audience members.
Says Conor of the show: “it is beautifully detailed with clearly researched fact interwoven with a rich foundation of emotional truth, carried effortlessly by Amy’s music. From Amy and Anne-Marie’s point of view, this is a humanitarian story about mothers, fathers, sons and daughters from all levels of society who all made difficult choices to try and survive, and reaped the consequences. I think that’s something any person from here can relate to.”
‘In the Midst of Plenty’ was developed with funding from the Roscommon County Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Its 2023 tour is made possible by support from the National Famine Way, the Irish Heritage Trust, Tipperary County Council, Roscommon County Council, Creative Ireland, the Sliabh Bawn Community Benefit Fund, the Ireland Funds, and RTE Supporting the Arts.
Tickets are available now by visiting www.inthemidstofplenty.com.