Roscommon-based Enchanted Croi Theatre has recently embarked on a 14-venue tour of Ireland with its new contemporary folk musical ‘In the Midst of Plenty.’
Featuring Derry native Conor O’Kane, who recently starred as John Hume in HUME: Beyond Belief, the tour has seen sold-out nights and standing ovations across its first venues.
The show will tour to the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey on June 17, the Abbey Arts Centre Ballyshannon on June 18, and the Waterside Theatre Derry on June 20th. Tickets on sale now: www.inthemidstofplenty.com/tour
Written by California-based singer-songwriter Amy Day and directed by Anne-Marie O’Sullivan of Enchanted Croi Theatre, the piece amplifies the seldom-told stories of impoverished women and their families who lived during the time of the Great Irish Famine.
The piece features an entirely original acoustic folk score, a large cast of actors and vocalists, and a full folk band on stage.
“Having been involved with the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park for over four decades, I have seen many Famine-related performances of varying standards, and this is singularly the best Famine-related piece I have ever seen,” said Caroilin Callery, director of the National Famine Way, a major sponsor of the show.
The show’s writer was inspired to create the piece in 2019 after visiting the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park.
Amy used the isolation of the pandemic years to focus on this writing project, and in two years she developed the script and score for ‘In the Midst of Plenty.’ She did so under the guidance of Maynooth-based Famine historian Dr Ciaran Reilly, who presented ways in which to humanise the event of global importance by focusing on the experiences of Irish families.
“It has been incredible to safeguard a story of such a precious community that lost so much, whilst bringing to light the stories of women whose names were not even listed in a landlord’s estate records,” explained Anne-Marie O’Sullivan, the show’s Artistic Director. “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, and we are delighted to be sharing this experience with audiences nationwide.”
The touring cast is led by Julie Sharkey (No Magic Pill) and includes Niall Brewster (Squinty, Galway Fringe), 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), Anne-Marie O’Sullivan (Enchanted Croí Theatre), and Ruairí Nicholl (Spring Awakening). The live on-stage folk 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.