Maria Nolan reviews the reading of The Polished Trunk


I am just home and still reeling from the stunning Public Reading of The Polished Trunk poignantly written by Reenagh McCall and superbly directed by Katie Mc Cann.
Staged this evening at the Wexford Arts Centre this moving portrayal of a young Wexford man John who answers the call of John Redmond to go and fight for the rights of small nations like Belgium in 1914 hoping that Britain will repay the 200,000 Irish men who fought in WW1 by granting Home Rule for Ireland.
John believing that he is doing the right thing by his country leaves a hero to fight in a foreign war only to return to a very different Ireland than the one he left.
While he was gone a terrible beauty was born on the streets of our capital city as the Easter Rising exploded changing everything forever.
John and those who went with him returned not as heroes but villains who had sided with the enemy and instead of being celebrated were berated
While their allied counterparts were being decorated they were being stripped of dignity and pride and very quickly became the forgotten and the unspoken about.
John’s story told from the perspective of his granddaughter going through his polished trunk portrays the terrible divisions in Ireland during the period and Reenagh McCall strikes a wonderful balance in this expert piece of writing that had me in tears at one time for the lad who went to fight on foreign shores and at other times for the lads who walked out on Easter morn 1916 all believing that they were doing what was right.
Spell binding will superb performances from all the cast with particular shout outs to Fintan Kelly, Sharon Clancy and the brilliant father and son team Michael and Naoise Dunbar.
Soo good – so worth seeing👍👏👏👏⭐️⭐️⭐️supported by Wexford County Councils Decade of Commemoration