The cast of SOAP Theatre sprinkles a tragic tale of life touched by death, land feuds, wasted years and lost opportunity with humour in their upcoming spring production of Outside Mullingar.
The play written by John Patrick Shanley, better known for his 1987 romantic comedy hit screenplay Moonstruck, opens Fri., April 20 at the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver. Although lesser known, Outside Mullingar was nominated for a Best Play Tony award in its 2014 Broadway debut.
“It has been an absolute joy and privilege to direct Outside Mullingar,” said Tom Szalay, the show’s director. “The cast and I all just love the script and its poetic intricacies, so each rehearsal has been an uplifting experience. We’re just so pumped to be staging this great story for you.”
The story centres on two romantic misfits, Anthony Reilly, played by Jeff Smith, and Rosemary Muldoon (Jenn MacNeil), straddling 40, who grew up and still live on adjacent farms in central Ireland. Rosemary has had her heart set on Anthony since she was a child. Anthony, due to his intense shyness and awkward discomfort with romance has yet to make his move, even though as we learn, he “suffered like Christ himself,” whenever some other fella came by to try their luck with Rosemary.
Anthony lives alone with his father Tony (Jim Peltier), who is planning to disinherit his son. Tony worries that Anthony takes after his mother’s father, John Kelly, who was “half ghost and mad as the full moon,” and as such, will likely never marry.
The farm has been in the Reilly family for “well wide of 100 years,” so Tony keeps “a keen eye on tomorrow,” with other plans to carry on the family name; if only he can resolve the land feud simmering between the Reilly and Muldoon families.
Rosemary, whose father just died, now lives alone with her mother, Aoife (Margi Chantler), whose “lungs and heart are cooked. She’s not long for it.”
Aoife now only wants what’s best for Rosemary, and the two of them know of a foolproof plan to make sure Rosemary and Anthony remain on their two farms, side by side, where Rosemary is “to wait; though it be years.”
Outside Mullingar plays five performances at the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver including Friday and Saturday evenings from April 20 through April 28, plus a matinee on Sun., April 22.
Reserved seating tickets are available online at www.venablestheatre.ca, at the Ticket Office (6100 Gala St.) or by phone 250-498-1626. Some tickets are also available at Your Dollar Store With More in Osoyoos and at Sundance Video in Oliver.
Outside Mullingar is also SOAP Theatre’s entry in the 2018 Okanagan Zone Theater Festival in Vernon and will play at Powerhouse Theatre on May 24.