News: The Passion of the Playboy Riots premieres at Hen and Chickens Theatre

News: The Passion of the Playboy Riots premieres at Hen and Chickens Theatre

Writer/ director Neil Wetherall brings his second work, The Passion of the Playboy Riots, to the Hen and Chickens Theatre in June.

Can art be propaganda? Can propaganda be art?

The Passion of the Playboy Riots is based on the published writings of W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, who founded the Irish Literary Theatre, as well as Patrick Pearse, a charismatic but troubled schoolteacher and the first of the leaders of the Easter Rising to face the firing squad. It tells the true story of the role played by theatre in the origins of the IRA.

Backstage at performances of ground-breaking Irish plays: Cathleen ni Hoolihan in 1902, The Playboy of the Western World in 1907 and The Plough and the Stars in 1926. W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory want to raise the profile and status of Irish culture in support of the campaign for Home Rule, and to support the best new Irish writers. They are shocked when Patrick Pearse and others accuse them of being unpatriotic and insufficiently Irish.

Northern-Irish Catholic-raised actor Justin McKenna is delighted to be playing Pearse, seen by many as the embodiment of the 1916 Easter Rising.

“You don’t need to be an expert in Irish history to follow the story. It’s about three real people and their relationships, hopes and ambitions. The historical detail is in the background and, like all Irish history, it’s fascinating and sometimes surprising.”

The production also stars Tim Hayward as W.B. Yeats and Cath Humphry as Lady Gregory.

 

The Passion of the Playboy Riots plays the Hen and Chickens Theatre from 27 June – 8 July. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.

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