Wexford Arts Centre will host the Irish premiere of a play by home-grown talent Eoghan Rua Finn on April 7. Amongst Men is a gripping theatrical tour-de-force which delivers powerful performances from stars of stage and screen, Mark Lambert and Noelle Brown.
The excitement around this Four Rivers production, which has been in rehearsal for weeks in Wexford, arises from the coming together of a terrific cast of four and the direction of this gripping new work by Deirdre Dwyer.
Amongst Men is the latest play commissioned by Four Rivers theatre group and is set in the 1960s in a tight-knit rural community in Wexford still riven by the legacy of the Civil War.
Eoghan is both a playwright and a poet, whose earlier plays The Blackstairs Trilogy, Locomotive and The Kill God were premiered at Wexford Arts Centre and the National Opera House.
He was one of eight participants in the Wexford Playwrights Workshop, supported by Four Rivers, Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre: arising from this, Four Rivers and its dramaturg, Louise Stephens, worked closely with Eoghan and two fellow Wexford playwrights, Hannah McNiven and Dominic Palmer, to develop plays in embryonic form.
Wexford County Council in partnership with Wexford Arts Centre supported the open call commission for a playwright to research and develop a new theatre work, addressing themes of Commemoration during the period 1916 – 23. This play is part of Wexford County Council’s Decade of Centenaries Programme ( 2012- 2023) and the Four Rivers production is part funded through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under their Community Strand and also supported by Arts Council and Wexford County Council funding.
Amongst Men is the fifth play Eoghan has written about Irish history. The Blackstairs Trilogy and Sons of Thunder were produced in 2016. Having worked so intensely on stories set against the backdrop of revolution, he felt like had no more to say on those topics, at least from a theatre perspective
Amongst Men, with a cast of Mark Lambert, Noelle Brown, Arthur Riordan and Dylan Kennedy, is at Wexford Arts Centre from April 6th-8th and 12th-15th, starting at 8 p.m.
Ben Barnes is the founding Artistic Director of Four Rivers which is dedicated to developing new and established work in and for the South East. He is a former Artistic Director of Opera Theatre Company and the Abbey Theatre. His award winning productions have been seen in major cities all over the world and his most recent credits include an American production of The Crucible and Madama Butterfly for Irish National Opera at the BGE, a rehearsed reading of More Stately Mansions for the Eugene O’Neill International Festival, Blackbird by David Harrower, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Lights Out by Hannah Mc Niven for Four Rivers.
Heather Hadrill is currently the Producer for Four Rivers having produced five of its theatre productions during 2021-2022. She was the Artist in Residence at Wexford Arts Centre, 2021, where she was the creative producer of “Wexford at 8” a production of eight new short plays by eight new writers. She is a co-founder/facilitator of WORDPLAY – a group for writers, actors & directors in County Wexford, for which, she produced seven new productions (including site specific theatre and 24 hour play challenges). She also works as a Speech & Drama Teacher, teaching children and adults in the community. Heather has worked as a freelance director and actor, which has included directing five Baroque Operas in joint Irish-Czech productions, a touring production of “The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde”, working as Head of Drama in Chester International School in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and acting roles in various theatre productions. She is a past participant on the Gaiety School of Acting Performance Theatre Company training course, 2018/2019 and other qualifications include an Associate Diploma in Speech & Drama Teaching from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, and B.A. in Communications.
For twenty years, Tom Mooney was editor of the Wexford Echo Group of Newspapers, twice winning the Law Society Media Justice Award. Tom has curated the Wexford Arts Festival since 2020, and the Wex-Art visual arts festival since 2019. In 2021, he was appointed Poetry Ireland co-ordinator for Poetry Town in Co. Wexford, and curated Written in the Stars at Wexford Library in 2022. He curated the Creative Ireland sponsored Wexford Festival: The early Years at the National Opera House. In 2022, he programmed the three day Jazz at Johnstown Festival at Johnstown Castle, and curated the Culture Ireland sponsored exhibition, Cape Sacred, at the West Wales Arts Centre. Tom’s book All the Bishops Men was published by the Collins Press and he is a regular contributor to the annual Wexford Festival Opera programme. Tom is also publicity co-ordinator for Music for Wexford and a literary judge for the Write by the Sea Festival.
Clare’s academic life has centered on art history and heritage and she has completed a Masters dissertation on the works of Martin McDonagh. She has enjoyed a love of theatre for many years and has gained an appreciation and experience of theatre craft from working both on and off stage. Her work as a professional stage manager began with Four Rivers on their opening production of David Harrower’s Blackbird in 2018. Subsequent stage-managing credits include Macbeth (2019), Hamlet (2020) and a filmed
production of King Lear (2021) for the Shakespeare Review productions at the Theatre Royal, Waterford. Clare enjoyed the challenge of working as stage manager touring Four Rivers productions of The Beauty Queen of Leenane (2021) and Happy Birthday Dear Alice
(2022) and is delighted to be part of the Four Rivers team showcasing the work of both established playwrights and new writers.