The Big Fellow Coming To The Nenagh Arts Centre

by Declan Gorman
based on Frank O’Connor’s biography of Michael Collins
Performed by Cillian O Gairbhi and Gerard Adlum (Templemore)

* Contains strong language and simulated gunfire. Aged restriction 13+

“If there were no wild boys, there would be no great men” Frank O’Connor’s mother wrote to him in 1922, when he was a prisoner-of-war at Gormanston camp. This original play, based on O’Connor’s writings, captures the life and times of the wildest boy of them all, Michael Collins, as he graduates from masterminding the most dare-devil raids, prison breaks and escapades of the War of Independence, to commanding the official army of a newly-formed state. Greatness did indeed follow Collins but so too did division, torment and tragedy. And herein lies the mystery. Frank O’Connor fought against Collins’ side in the Civil War. So why did he divert from a glittering literary career just a few years later to write a book apparently in praise of his dead enemy?

The Big Fellow Coming To The Nenagh Arts Centre

The Big Fellow at the Nenagh Arts Centre

No dull history lesson, “The Big Fellow” is an imaginative and entertaining piece of non-stop, high-energy theatre, from the action-packed opening images to the gripping conclusion. It is driven by a powerful score composed by Colin Blakey (ex-Waterboys) and Cillian McNamara’s evocative lighting. Gerard Adlum and Cillian O Gairbhi give outstanding performances, bringing to vivid life a nation embroiled in the excitement and turmoil of formation.

Following its hugely successful nationwide tour earlier this year, this outstanding play on Michael Collins will have one special showing in Nenagh before transferring to the Mumbai Literature Live Festival where it will be performed as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of India’s independence. Not to be missed!

“A combination of physical energy and historical passion … totally engaging.” Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent
“Insightful, inspiring and profoundly moving… A wonderful use of humour is what differentiates Gorman’s drama from other historical narratives.” Orla O’Dea, Westmeath Examiner
“A clever, powerful theatrical story. The (Kilkenny) audience saluted the writer and two actors with a resounding standing ovation.” Liam Murphy, Munster Express

The Big Fellow – Friday 3rd November, 8pm,Tickets €16/€12.50 (plus €1 Booking Fee)

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