Four new plays, The Big Four, have been devised by Lampróg Theatre to celebrate 1919 centenary events in Limerick. Lampróg Theatre has been created by participants on County Limerick Youth Theatre’s LEADER training course 'Expressing Employability', supported by the Arts office of Limerick City and County Council
Audience members will get the opportunity to experience one of the most exhilarating escapes in Irish history ‘The Rescue of Seán Hogan from Knocklong Train Station’.
Lampróg Theatre have devised four plays, written by Rachel Jones and David Tynan, and directed by Fiona Quinn, to take place over the course of a week, as part of the Knocklong History Week - National Commemoration of the rescue of Seán Hogan in Knocklong.
Seventeen year old Irish Volunteer Sean Hogan is en route to be executed in Cork when the other three Big Four members unexpectedly intercept the train in Knocklong.
Over the course of the week, audience members will be able to see behind the scenes of this intricate escape plan, “the special thing about these plays is the history they are founded upon. Characters we devised are based on information that was given to us in interviews with their descendants,” script writer David Tynan exclaims.
“One of the most exciting things for me as a writer is the fact that we are playing the ancestors of local people, I think it’s a great way to have the community involved and give an authenticity to the events we are dramatising,” said script writer Claire Moroney.
“All participating school pupils have engaged in free drama workshops on 1919 themes. In this era of ‘fake news’ the variety of resulting performances will give young people the opportunity to interrogate different aspects of The Rescue story through the safe space of the drama festival and enhance their critical thinking skills,” said director Fiona Quinn.
The first performance The Dance will take place on Sunday 12th May at 7pm at the Knocklong Community Centre. The Dance is an interactive performance which invites the audience to participate in a 1919 fundraiser dance for the Big Four where they meet the protagonists of The Rescue and witness the arrest of Sean Hogan by the RIC.
The second performance The Plan on Tuesday 14th May at 7pm in the Galbally Community Centre. The Plan is a site-specific performance in Galbally which explores the complex planning and domestic detail of those involved in the rescue of Sean Hogan. The daily lives of the RIC, the dispatches of the Cumann na mBan and the rescue from the train itself are dramatised in the homes and hostelries surrounding Galbally Square in this once off performance.
The third performance The Escape will take place Thursday 16th May at 6.30pm starting Knocklong Community Centre. The Escape is a 7.7km promenade theatre performance that invites the audience to follow the Big Four, as wounded - shot in the lung, neck and arm, they flee from Knocklong train station, trekking to safety across the fields and up the hill to Glenlara. There will be four performances en-route, detailing the history of this epic race for freedom.
The last performance The Trail is set to take place on Sunday 19th May at 1pm in Knocklong Community Centre. The Trial is the final play in the Big Four series performed by Lampróg Theatre. It highlights the injustice of the arrest and execution of Paddy Maher, an innocent man, hung by the British in retribution for the Rescue of Sean Hogan from Knocklong train station. Based on the court transcripts of the trial and accounts from Paddy Maher’s descendants, this is a poignant and moving story of a travesty of justice and the triumph of might over right.
Prices are €10 with €5 concession.