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Corrib play opens on Dublin stage

Corrib play opens on Dublin stage

Áine Ryan


AS the controversial Corrib gas project enters its final phase of construction, the first stage play about the project has opened in Dublin. Alliliú Fionnuala was written by actor and scriptwriter, Donal O’Kelly, directed by Sorcha Fox and designed by Robert Ballagh. It is being staged at Theatre Upstairs (Lanigans Bar), Eden Quay, at lunchtime, from Monday to Saturday, for the next two weeks.
The play’s central character is Ambrose Keogh, a Shell PR officer, who has named the oil company’s giant tunnel boring machine, Fionnuala, after one of the Children of Lir, who according to mythology were banished to the Erris island of Inis Glóra for 300 years.
“When Fionnuala sinks into a bog, Ambrose Keogh is confronted by the original Fionnuala at a fairy fort. She puts a ‘geas’ on him that forces him to tell the truth about the company’s operations in Erris. Ambrose is also confronted, on the shores of Sruwaddacon Bay, by an old classmate, who is now an anti-pipeline campaigner,” explains Donal O’Kelly.
The genesis of the play is based on a recent accident that left parts of Shell’s giant tunnel-boring machine, Fionnuala, stranded at a remote crossroads in north-west Mayo for almost a week.
O’Kelly has written many plays and was a member of Aosdána until his resignation in 2010. An exhibition about the Corrib controversy is also on show at the foyer of the theatre. Tickets: €10 (€8 Student concession), with soup and bread.

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