THE Laois Open Door Theatre will this November be presenting four nights of frightfully fantastic family entertainment. Their production Keane and Scream, a tribute to John B Keane and Other Sinners, is directed by Sinéad Kelleher and is an original composition by members of the theatre.
It consists of short stories and vignettes about natural and supernatural life and death. The tales are interspersed with song and the drama concludes on an up-beat note. There is a delicate interaction of light and shade contrasting good and evil in Irish and international life. The show promises to captivate the audience from the beginning and haunt them long after.
Two narrators open up a world of heightened emotions, tension and drama as the action unfolds. Fans will be rooted to their seats and begging for freedom at the same time.
In the Keane section, a seanachai (Kate Forristal) relates stories from The Field, Big Maggie, The Chastitute and Many Young Men of Twenty. These pay tribute to John B Keane through the characters of The Bull (John Kavanagh), The Bird (Kevin Lawlor Fitzpatrick), Tagdh (Joe Murphy), William (PJ Mulhall), Big Maggie (Anne Delaney), and John Bosco McClaine (Kevin Langan). These frightening and funny tales depict the themes of war, unemployment, land, love, lust and of course death. Peig’s (Catríona Marshall) song ‘Black is the Colour’ and ‘Many Young Men of Twenty’ (lead by Anna Forristal) lighten the darker side of the sequence.
In the Scream section, Death (David Corri) in the form of a narrator then explores the deadly but tempting sins of lust, pride, greed, and envy with tales from Sweeney Todd, The Woman in Black, Dracula, Rebecca and Macbeth.
Sweeny Todd (Paul Kenna) and Mrs Lovett (Jayne Louise Kelly) set the terrorising tone. The edgy Mrs Danvers (Roxanne Byrne) and Rebecca (Alana Phelan) increase the tension.
Release comes with the sensuous dancers (Patrick and Catríona Marshall) in the Dance Scene from Dracula. Arthur (Thomas Byrne) and Kipps (John Kenny) surprise the audience with the Woman in Black. The Three Witches (Catríona Marshall, Alana Phelan and Sinéad Kelleher) The song You’ve Put a Spell on Me sends the audience home on an up-lifting note.
Laois Open Door Theatre is an amateur drama group whose members come from all parts of Laois, and all walks of life. The group has performed many well-known plays over the years and are well known for their spectacular productions in the Dunamaise Theatre. Sinéad Kelleher makes her debut as an Open Door director while Allana Phelan, Kate Forristal, P J Mulhall, and Anna Forristal make their first appearance on-stage with Open Door. Although the play is suitable for all ages parental guidance is advised as there is some sensitive material.
Tickets for the events can be purchased at the door. The cost is €5 per person or €15 per family. There will be spot prize for the best fancy dress. The show takes place at 8pm each night in Athy Community Arts Centre on Thursday November 1, the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel on Friday November 2, Rathdowney Community Centre on Saturday November 3 and the Parochial Hall on Station Road on Sunday November 4.