Longford's Backstage Theatre rolls out red carpet for world renowned choreographer Marguerite Donlon

Jessica Thompson


Jessica Thompson



World-renowned Longford choreographer to premiere new dance work

Decorated Longford choreographer, Marguerite Donlon was the star attraction at Longford's Backstage Theatre last weekend as it played host to her latest work-'The Last Life Boat'

World-renowned Longford choreographer, Marguerite Donlon held the world premiere of her latest work, 'The Last Life Boat' in the Backstage Theatre last weekend.

Based on the story of her grandaunt, Katherine Gilnagh, who was the last passenger to get on the last lifeboat leaving the sinking Titanic in 1912, ‘The Last Life Boat’ is a beautiful local story that appealed to the crowds at the Backstage Theatre last weekend.

ALSO READ: Longford's Backstage Theatre primed for double dose of Donlon excellence

Katherine had James Farrell from Killoe, Longford to thank for her escape and, according to Marguerite, was grateful to him for the rest of her life.

“She said that James gave her his cap just as she got on the lifeboat. He threw it down to her and said ‘I won’t be needing this where I’m going’,” said Marguerite.

“And she kept that cap on her mantelpiece all her life.”

What is particularly striking about this artistic work of dance is that the dancers - Francesco Vecchione and Claudia Ortiz Arraiza - are moving to the sound of Katherine Gilnagh's voice as she tells her story.

"I worked with an electronic composer who took the original interview from my grandaunt when she was 60 recalling the incident all those years back when she was a 16-year-old girl and saying how it all happened so fast," said Marguerite.

Friday's world premiere was paired with a previous work of Marguerite's, 'Heroes', based on the music of David Bowie.

She received a standing ovation at the end of the show and said that her latest work will continue to grow as it travels around the world.