Prominent Offaly Stage Guild to present stirring 'The Hired Man'

Karen O'Grady

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Karen O'Grady

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Prominent Offaly Stage Guild to present stirring 'The Hired Man'

The strong line of principals in the Birr Stage Guild's production of 'The Hired Man'

Based on Melvyn Braggs, stirring novel novel of Cumbrian rural and industrial life, set in the first quarter of the twentieth century, 'The Hire Man' tells the story of one family's Bragg's grandparents, journey from land owners to colliers and back to the Land.

Birr Stage Guild will present this production in Birr Theatre & Arts Centre from March 9 to March 14 next and it's expected not to disappoint audience.

Set against the background of working class ritual-whippet racing, hiring fairs, hunting, drinking bouts, union meetings, this musical brings alive the cavalcade of British history, which swept people into a new century and a war to end all wars. Howard Goodall's superb score is strong in the choral tradition, a marvellous succession of chorales, operatic duets and vigorous foot stomping rhythms.

This year's musical director is Enda O'Connor, director is Paul Norton and choreography is by Galway based Jay Molyneaux. This year's leading male, 'John' is played by David Langan while the leading female, 'Emily' will be played by Audrey O'Meara Coakley, both of whom treated the intimate audience to a vocally impressive performance of one of the show's duets when the pair were young, heading off into the world and everything was looking good for them.

Returning as musical director for the stage guild, Paul Norton was delighted to welcome everyone to the launch of the guild's forthcoming production. “Firstly, I would like to say to the committee of Birr Stage Guild, thank you so much for having me back here again in Birr this year,” he enthused.

“The big plus this year is we are back doing such an intimate show in such an intimate space. The people of Birr should be very proud of the facility you have here. It is one of the most beautiful theatres in the country with such an intimate atmosphere to it, continued Paul.

Earlier this week, the guild were elated when the production's renowned composer Howard Goodall replied to the Stage Guild's tweet saying: 


Tickets are €16/18 with group rates available. They can purchased from Birr Theatre on (057) 91 22911 or by visiting www.birrtheatre.com