A gripping tale of a family United at Backstage Theatre

The author of hit plays like ‘Lovely Leitrim’, ‘Callaghan’s Place’, ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Love Is’ brings his next offering to Backstage Theatre this weekend. Featuring a host of local actors, ‘United’ opens this Thursday night, October 20, for a three-night run.

The author of hit plays like ‘Lovely Leitrim’, ‘Callaghan’s Place’, ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Love Is’ brings his next offering to Backstage Theatre this weekend. Featuring a host of local actors, ‘United’ opens this Thursday night, October 20, for a three-night run.

Written and directed by Carrick-on-Shannon playwright, John McDwyer, ‘United’ is a gripping tale that charts the lives of a rural Irish family over fifty years darting back and forth from present to the late 1950’s.

When the matriarch passes away, her remaining children congregate for her funeral and over the funeral days dark secrets are revealed which lead to conflict until eventual reconciliation is reached and the family is, once more, United.

The play features a stellar cast including Eileen Murphy and Michael Conlon, well known locally for their performances throughout the years.

Joining them on stage are three very promising young actors from the region.

Seventeen-year-old Darina Birsanu, originally from Moldova, has been living in Ireland for the last 12 years. Darina, who is involved with Comharile na nÓg and was recently elected to Dáil na nÓg, has been involved with Backstage Youth Theatre since first year in Scoil Mhuire.

She has appeared in a number of productions over the years, including a starring role in Goody Two Shoes, and she most recently took to the stage in Padraic McIntyre’s The Carnival at Glenaduff.

Another cast member fresh from The Carnival is sixteen-year-old Christopher Hewitt, from Moydow, who first came to the attention of local audiences in his début performance as the Lion in The Wizard of Longford.

After showing much promise in his first starring role Christopher went on to receive great praise for his performance and the loveable “Andy” in McIntyre’s summer smash hit.

The youngest of the cast is thirteen-year-old Daire Ó Muiri from Tarmonbarry, eldest son of Collette and well known local musician Máirtín.

While Daire has taken part in the Backstage Theatre Camps for a number of years, this play will mark his first performance on stage. Landing a role with such a well established theatre company like Beezneez for a regional tour is a testament to Daire’s and indeed Darina and Christopher’s natural ability and flare for the stage.

As with all of John’s plays you can expect plenty of laughter mixed with gripping and moving drama.

See all of the cast in Backstage as they open their national tour on Thurs 20th – Sat 22nd Oct at 8:30pm. Tickets €18/€16 available on 043 33 47888 from Farrell & Coy in Longford Town or online on www.backstage.ie. Backstage gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council.