Signatories at Olympia Theatre
Following its sold-out world premiere run in Kilmainham Gaol, Signatories will be revived at the Olympia Theatre, running from 4 to 8 October. This fascinating work by Verdant Productions, in association with UCD, explores the stories of the seven signatories of the Irish Proclamation, as well as Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell who delivered the surrender in the Easter Rising of 1916.
The cast includes eight of Ireland’s finest actors (Barbara Brennan, Frank McCusker, Karen McCartney, Roseanna Purcell, Stephen Jones, Shane O’Reilly, Joe Taylor, Ronan Leahy) while each individual story has been written by a different writer.
Oscar nominated Emma Donoghue writes Elizabeth O’Farrell, Guardian Fiction Prize winner Thomas Kilroy writes Padraig Pearse, winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature Hugo Hamilton writes James Connolly, Tony Award winner Frank McGuinness writes Éamonn Ceannt, emerging talent on the Irish theatre scene Rachel Fehily writes Thomas Clarke, winner of the Bisto Book of the Year Éilís Ní Dhuibhne writes Sean McDermott, winner of the EM Forster Award Marina Carr writes Thomas McDonagh, and winner of the Prix Litteraire Zepter for Novel of the Year Joseph O’Connor writes Joseph Mary Plunkett.
Each monologue brings the audience into the innermost thoughts of the protagonists, encapsulating the thoughts and emotional turmoil that these people must have experienced as they were sending out commands, lying in Kilmainham Gaol, facing the firing squad and ultimately being airbrushed out of public view and leaving a legacy that would haunt future generations.
This unique work drew great interest and critical praise when it first ran in Kilmainham Gaol, presenting an opportunity for intellectual discourse around the signatories of the proclamation that goes well beyond the circumstances of the Rising and places them in the wider cultural context. Now audiences who missed it the first time around have another chance to capture this fascinating work at the Olympia Theatre this October.