ISLAND INSPIRATION ‘Believing in Butterflies’ was inspired by Louisburgh’s landscape and views, and by people’s life journeys.
Dublin company performs Louisburgh man’s play in Westport
Coolmine Drama Group from Dublin will take to the stage in Westport for the first time on Saturday, February 24, when the stage ‘Believing in Butterflies’, by local author, poet and now playwright, John Haskins.
Living in the small village of Emlagh, Louisburgh, John decided to write a play inspired by a sudden thought on a summer’s walk along his local beach facing Clare Island.
Always interested in the poetic side of life’s conflicts, joys and sorrows, he wondered what would happen if a group of people found themselves unexpectedly stranded on a small island. And what if those people were at a critical stage in their life journey, and they decided (with the help of a few bottles of wine) to share their stories?
Herein lies the basis of ‘Believing in Butterflies’. The butterfly idea, John says, comes from the fact that butterflies journey from the darkness of the cocoon into light and once in the light, have a short time to enrich the world around them. The play looks at the epic journey of four characters – Bobby, a brash Dubliner; Anna, a young philosophy professor; Brendan, the local parish priest; and Margaret, the B&B owner.
Getting the play into production has taken a few years of writing, evaluation and rewriting. John fondly remembers a night long ago in Emlagh when he asked a few friends from Louisburgh to do a first reading in his house. Now, thanks to help out there from major theatres, like the Abbey, which provides critical script reviews, the play is now ready for wider audiences.
The Westport performance follows a fully booked three-night run in the Draiocht Theatre Dublin. Still, it’s the upcoming Mayo performance that matters most to John. “All my writing inspiration comes from the beautiful Louisburgh area,” he says, “and this play in particular was conceived, written and located in the West – which makes the Westport showing so special for me.”
It’s the Beezneez
Meanwhile, Beezneez Theatre Company from Leitrim return to Westport Town Hall Theatre tonight (Tuesday) for the fourth time since 2015 with their production of the beautiful multi-award-winning Canadian play ‘The Drawer Boy’, by Michael Healey
John McDwyer, founder of the threatre company, directs Gerry Farrell (‘An Ordinary Man’), Michael Roper (‘Lovely Leitrim’) and Warren O’Connor (‘Mauritius’).
A young actor visits a farm in search of material for a play that his company is creating. At the farm, he finds two elderly farmers who have secrets from each other and from the world. Over the course of his visit, these secrets are brought to light in a humorous and moving evening of theatre.
For more information or to book tickets to either performance, call Westport Town Hall Theatre on 098 28459 or visit www.westporttheatre.com.