In preparation for their trip to Erie, Pennsylvania, the Dungarvan Dramatic Club presented an evening inspired by Slane poet Francis Ledwidge who died during the Great War in the Town Hall Theatre. This was a short but impressive evening with two one-act plays about the lives and loves of the road worker poet whose nature poetry has survived possibly because it was included in the Leaving Cert course.
Margaret Dennehy who directed both pieces, wrote the opening tableaux Strange Are The Ways of Pegasus that declaimed the poet’s life and work in a sensitive and gently way.
The second piece was an almost radio play by John McKenna Faint Voices from 1995. This work had some fine direction as it explored the early love interest of Ledwidge for Ellie Vaughey whose family looked down on the Ledwidges.
Four actors told the story and they were joined by a further four in ensemble fashion for the opening tableaux. Pat Power was a gentle thoughtful Ledwidge and Orla Glascott was luminous as Ellie.
Ruaidhrí de Paor was gentle as Matty McGoona and Padraigín Ní Chadhla was excellent as the poet’s mother. Costuming for the ladies was excellent and a dark tabs set plus wooden bench set the tone in front of a back section.
The other ensemble actors were Dave Pollock, Siobhán Buckley, Paul McGabhain and Ann Kavanagh.
Dave Lee provided a sensitive soundtrack and this production showed a more cultural and thoughtful side of a significant drama group.