The Corkman - - FRONT PAGE - TIMMY LYNCH tim­my­lynch@eir­

IN years to come peo­ple will in­sist they at­tended Cul­ture Night 2017 in The Daily Grind, Kan­turk in the same way that thou­sands claim to have been in the GPO in 1916 and Thomond Park in 1978. The truth is the cof­fee-shop was packed to ca­pac­ity 20 min­utes be­fore show-time last Fri­day night. The ‘House Full’ sign was placed on the door at 7.40 for the 8pm show and more than two dozen un­lucky peo­ple had to be turned away.

The for­tu­nate 70 peo­ple who gained ad­mit­tance to the re­hearsed read­ing of two new plays by Ai­dan O’Ke­effe and Mary Ang­land were treated to a won­der­ful night’s free en­ter­tain­ment. As the MC for the night, Jac­qui Feely stated in her in­tro­duc­tion that the event in The Daily Grind was one of 1,300 hap­pen­ing through­out Ireland on Cul­ture Night. Few, if any, of these events will have seen such an­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­cite­ment in the crowd prior to show-time. The first play was writ­ten and di­rected by Ai­dan O’Ke­effe. Fol­low­ing on from the suc­cess of last year’s ‘ The Mill Road Let­ters’, Part Two of ‘ The Ceann Toirc Tril­ogy’, ‘ The Rail­way Tav­ern’ starred Mau­reen Shee­han, Philip Line­han, Tim Lynch Jnr and John O’Sul­li­van. Set in 1998 in Cash­man’s Bar (aka The Rail­way Tav­ern), the play con­cerned the up­heaval caused by the re­turn of a wo­man who’d left Kan­turk un­der a cloud two years pre­vi­ously. Mix­ing com­edy and heart-rend­ing drama, the hour­long play cap­ti­vated the au­di­ence from the very out­set. The quartet of ac­tors were su­perb, the mu­si­cal in­ter­ludes worked a treat, and the props man­ager, John Jor­dan, en­sured the scene changes were flaw­less. The an­tic­i­pa­tion is al­ready grow­ing for 2018’s fi­nal part of ‘ The Ceann Toirc Tril­ogy’. The sec­ond play of the night, ‘Fu­neral Blues’ writ­ten by Mary Ang­land and di­rected by Sheila O’Con­nor, was a com­edy which saw per­form­ers Teresa O’Ke­effe and Sean Bow­man rem­i­nisce over lo­cal characters long dead, but whose deeds while they were alive en­sured them im­mor­tal­ity in the small com­mu­nity they hailed from – though per­haps not the kind of no­to­ri­ety they ended up leav­ing as a legacy be­hind them. Again, the play was a com­plete tri­umph with the au­di­ence howl­ing with laugh­ter at the hi­lar­i­ous script and tremen­dous act­ing. Over­all, this was one Cul­ture Night event that could be classed as an un­qual­i­fied suc­cess. Due to the ex­cep­tional crowds that were un­able to be ac­com­mo­dated on the night, it is en­vis­aged that the plays may be per­formed again at a later date. Keep an eye on ‘Kan­turk Call­ing’ for more de­tails anon.

Tim­mie Lynch Jnr, Philip Line­han, Mau­reen Shee­han, and John O’Sul­li­van staged ‘The Rail­way Tav­ern’ dur­ing Cul­ture Night at the Daily Grind, Kan­turk.

Teresa O’Donoghue and Sean Bow­man acted in ‘Fu­neral Blues’ which was writ­ten by Mary Ang­land and di­rected by Sheila O’Con­nor.

Above: Carmel Galvin, Kan­turk, Eileen O’Do­herty, New­mar­ket, and Nora Daly, New­mar­ket at­tended the Cul­ture Night events at the Daily Grind, Kan­turk. Right: Neily Moy­lan en­joy­ing Cul­ture Night at the Daily Grind.

He­len Ducey, Bo­her­bue, and Eileen Kelly, Meelin. Photos: Sheila Fitzger­ald

John and Peig O’Ke­effe, Kan­turk, Noreen O’Connell, Bo­her­bue, and Mar­garet Mur­phy, Bo­her­bue pic­tured at the Daily Grind

Noreen Kelle­her with her daugh­ters Eileen Cash­man and Cather­ine Kelle­her en­joy­ing Cul­ture Night at the Daily Grind, Kan­turk.

Jackie Feely, Dro­magh, Eileen McAuliffe, Dro­magh, and Marie Buck­ley, Kiskeam en­joy­ing Cul­ture Night at the Daily Grind.

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