Granard author to feature in Ramor Theatre celebrations

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Noel Monahan

Chalk Dust: Noel Monahan’s stunning poem has been adapted for stage and selected for the Ramor Theatre’s 20 year celebrations

Ramor Theatre is celebrating 20 years of theatrical productions and they have selected Chalk Dust by Noel Monahan as their chosen piece of theatre for this celebratory occasion.

Noel Monahan, a native of Granard, and living in Cavan for the last 40 years, is one of Ireland’s established poets and playwrights and he has won many national awards for his writing in both genres.

Some of Noel’s awards include the Poetry Ireland Seacat National Award and the PJ O’Connor RTE Drama Award, both in 2001; the ASTI Achievements Award in 2002; the Hiberno-English Poetry Award in 2004; and the Irish Writers Union Poetry Award in 2005.

Other awards include the Kilkenny Prize for Poetry, the William Allingham Poetry Award, the Lifetime’s Achievement Award for Literature, Longford (2012), and the Arts & Entertainment Award from Shannonside Northern Sound Radio in 2012.

Noel’s poetry was also prescribed text for the new Leaving Cert English course and it featured in the 2011 exams.

“Ramor Theatre is celebrating 20 years of theatrical productions and I am delighted they have selected Chalk Dust as their chosen piece of theatre for this great occasion,” Noel told the Longford Leader.

The play is directed by Padraic McIntyre, one of Ireland’s finest and most celebrated drama directors and it will be professionally performed on December 5, 6 and 7, 2019, at the Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Co Cavan.

Chalk Dust is the stunning title poem of Noel Monahan’s eighth collection of poetry, which was published by Salmon Poetry Ireland in 2018.

His previous seven collections include Opposite Walls (1991), Snowfire (1995), Curse of the Birds (2000), The Funeral Game (2004), Curve of the Moon (2010), Where The Wind Sleeps (2014) and Celui Qui Porte Un Veau (The Calf Bearer - 2014). All were publiced by Salmon Poetry, except for the French publication, which was published by L’Arbre, Christine Brisset-Le Mauve.

Chalk Dust was adapted for stage by Noel Monahan, portrays Monahan’s five years spend in County Cavan’s local boarding school in the 60s: St Norbert’s College, Kilnacrott.

“Many of the students of St Norbert’s Boarding School, Kilnacrott, hailed from County Longford and returned to work at home after their sojourn in Kilnacrott,” said Noel.

Like many of the boarding schools of its time, Kilnacrott was an Irish Catholic boarding school, where sons of strong farmers and rural shopkeepers were placed in the ivory hands of priests to be educated.

This long, dramatic, prose poem, adapted for stage, is episodic and follows the calendar of a school year, where trapped male energy erupts under the strains of collective living and time alone allows the chalk dust to settle.

The production includes professional actors alongside young, emerging actors, taken from adjacent second level schools.
This ambitious drama promises to entertain all.

Chalk Dust will be staged in the Ramor Theatre on December 6 and 7 at 8pm.

Tickets for the 20th anniversary production are €18/€16 and can be purchased via www.ramortheatre.com or 0498547074.

Read also: North Longford poet lifts lid on eighth poetry collection, Chalk Dust, in Cavan