Small Things Like These

Small Things Like These, an unforgettable story of hope and heroism, is brought to the stage with actor Andrew Bennett (Seán in the Oscar-nominated The Quiet Girl / An Cailín Ciúin) accompanied by new music from singer and musician Eleanor McEvoy (A Woman’s Heart). Small Things Like These, a Booker Prize nominated novel, will be performed in Wexford, New Ross, Dun Laoghaire and Bray this December.

Claire Keegan’s Booker Prize-nominated novel (“Resonant and deeply moving”, Hilary Mantel) is set in a Co. Wexford town in the 1980s in the run up to Christmas: as coal merchant Bill Furlong does his rounds, he discovers a girl locked away in terrible conditions in the local convent. Unlike the silent majority, he decides to do something about it.

This staged reading of Small Things Like These is performed by Andrew Bennett. One of the finest actors of his generation, Andrew has completed a new series for Sky Originals, Small Town Big Story, and Blackshore for the BBC.

Eleanor McEvoy will perform original music composed for Small Things Like These. Eleanor’s critically acclaimed canon of work spans sixteen albums with numerous cover versions of her songs by Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, Phil Coulter, Eliza Carthy, Jack L, and Saint Sister. (Photo from Förderkreis Kultur.)

Presented by Four Rivers, Small Things Like These is directed by former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, Ben Barnes. Recent directing credits include The Last Stand (Four Rivers), Madama Butterfly (INO), Lights Out (Four Rivers) and in 2024 he will direct Castel Gandolfo, his sixth collaboration with the writer, Jim Nolan. Ben is Artistic Director of Four Rivers.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
Reader: Andrew Bennett
Music: Eleanor Mc Evoy
Director: Ben Barnes
Sound:  Bryan Steacy
Lighting: Mark Redmond
Stage Manager: Saoirse Wadding Hayes

For Four Rivers
Artistic Director: Ben Barnes
Producer: Heather Hadrill
Dramaturg: Louise Stephens
Construction Manager: Mark Redmond
Company Stage Manager: Clare Smith
Marketing: Tom Mooney
Social Media: Tianna Moore
Graphics: Elishka Lane Barnes

An unforgettable and beautifully written story of hope, quiet heroism and tenderness from the author of Foster, STLT is described by The Guardian as sharing “its properties with the very best of her stories”.
“A haunting and hopeful masterpiece” – Sinead Gleeson
“Astonishing” – Colm Tóibín
“Resonant and deeply moving” – Hilary Mantel

Performance dates:
Wexford Arts Centre: December 14|15|16
St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross: December 17
The Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire: December 19
The Mermaid, Bray: December 20.

Upcoming Productions

A Handful of Stars by Billy Roche

2024 marks the 35th anniversary of the first professional production of A Handful of Stars, the first play in Billy Roche’s famous Wexford trilogy, which also includes Poor Beast in the Rain and Belfry, described at the time by The Guardian as ‘one of the year’s great theatre events.’

Directed by Conall Morrison and designed by Liam Doona, with lighting by Paul Keogan and costumes by Jeni Roddy, A Handful of Stars is coming home to Wexford in June with a fortnight run at Wexford Arts Centre.

As part of the Arts Centre’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2024, Four Rivers will simultaneously celebrate the career of Billy Roche – playwright, novelist, actor and singer -with public interviews, an exhibition of the playwright’s memorabilia, readings (Poor Beast in the Rain and Belfry, directed by Heather Hadrill) and a panel discussion including Billy Roche and Conall Morrison, moderated by Tom Mooney.

Wexford Arts Centre, June 8|9|11|12|13|14|15|16
Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire, June 18|19|20|21|22.

Castel Gandolfo by Jim Nolan

A reading was held at the National Opera House this week of Jim Nolan’s new play, Castel Gandolfo. The work has gone through several drafts and the reading was held to identify any areas that need further tweaking ahead of the production of the play in 2024. Ben Barnes will direct with designs by Dermot Quinn (set), John Comiskey (lighting), Jeni Roddy (costume) and Jamie Beamish (sound). Both Jim Nolan and Ben Barnes were in attendance at the reading and the reading cast were – Anna Healy, Brian Doherty, Anthony Brophy, Catherine Walker and Elishka Lane. Rehearsal will start on March 11th and the play will run at Garter Lane, Waterford from April 13-27.