KEANE EDGE Garrymore Drama Group members in a scene from ‘The Year of the Hiker’.
All-Ireland-winning Garrymore Drama Group will stage John B Keane’s 1963 classic, ‘The Year of the Hiker’ at Westport Town Hall Theatre on Saturday, December 1.
Directed by Garrymore’s Ger Lynskey, ‘The Year of the Hiker’ tells the moving story of a man nicknamed the Hiker who returns home looking for forgiveness from the family he walked out on 20 years ago.
The story begins with his son, Simey, being urged by no-nonsense Aunt Freda to get ready for his sister’s wedding to Dr William Dolly. The family’s thoughts slip back to the Hiker’s absence, and his wife Kate laments that Joe should not have to be giving his sister away.
Nobody seems to know why the Hiker went after eight years of marriage. Hardest hit was Kate, who withered in loneliness and shame, and Joe, who recalls the patience his father had for him and his devastation at being abandoned.
John B Keane’s unmistakeable style of mixing comedy with deep, heart-wrenching emotion remains to the fore in a play proudly brought to Westport by a Garrymore Drama Group, who have been treading the boards since the early 1980s and have earned a solid reputation on the amateur drama festival circuit nationwide.
Tickets, €15/€12 each, are available at the box office on 098 28459 or online at www.westporttheatre.com.