Blue Wall Theatre Company enthralls audiences with special performances of the new musical At The End Of The Day

Blue Wall Theatre Company, in association with Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival, enthralled audiences with special performances of the new musical At The End Of The Day, on 5th October, 2018 in the Foresters Hall, Killybegs, and 6th October, 2018 in the Parish Hall, Kilcar.

Inspired by the patchwork quilt 'Love Across The Waves' by Arranmore and Tir Boghaine Women's Groups, At The End Of The Day was be performed by Blue Wall Theatre Company in the Foresters Hall, Killybegs on Friday, and in the Parish Hall, Kilcar on Saturday, with standing ovations and rapturous applause at the end of both performances.

A member of the cast, speaking afterwards, said the whole cast were blown away by the warmth of the audiences. "It felt like we were bringing it home", they commented.

Mainly set in Bruckless, Kilcar, Glen Head and Dungloe, At The End Of The Day, is a new musical based in South-West Donegal, and provides a look at life in Donegal during the early 1800s. The plot mainly follows the relationship of Matthew Lyons, played by Adam Hannigan, and Nuala Green, played Éabha Gallagher, from the time they first meet, to the time they become engaged to be married, and also the events leading up to their meeting, including the Bruckless drownings, and the economic conditions of the time.

The cast also features Catherine Gallagher, as the notorious Biddy Devenney, who sought revenge after being refused free fish by the fishermen at Darney Pier. Brian Duffy and Anthony Redmond, are Henry Francis Conyngham and George Vaughan Hart, the members of Parliament for Donegal. Chris Duddy and Orson Sterritt, fresh from magnificent performances of Edna and Corny Collins in Letterkenny Music and Drama Group’s recent production of Hairspray, join the cast as Patrick Hegarty, Matthew’s mentor, and Edward Lyons, Matthew’s father, respectively. Cristíona McGettigan is cast as Nuala’s sister Ellen, while Tracey Faulkner portrays local gossip Bridget O’Donnell. Gerard McGee, as Michael McCauley, is a nineteenth century style ferryman and hackney, while Jessica Gallagher excels as Sarah Breslin, a young neighbour of Biddy’s, and Patrick Gallagher make his stage debut as Young Matthew Lyons.

Original music, lyrics and book are by Leslie Long, whose last musical writing project was the AIMS award winning musical Caisleáin Óir, and direction is by Eddie Mulligan. Costume design is by Sinéad O’Donnell-Carey, who is the current Yeats Design Resident in the Abbey Theatre, and lighting design is by Tony McGuire. Stage manager Tracey Faulkner is also assisting with direction. Tanya Ward is the choreographer of the show. Denise Roper assists Leslie with musical direction of the five piece pit band.

The musical is set in times when the norm is for two sets of parents to get together in order to arrange a 'match' between their son and daughter. Matthew, from Teelin, and Nuala from Arranmore Island, in what might be considered to be a long distance relationship in the 1820s, make their own match, by falling in love.

When Matthew proposes to Nuala, the answer is undoubtedly 'yes', but there is a clause - Nuala wants to get her parents' blessing first. Matthew is anxious to know if their blessing is given, so Nuala arranges to light a bonfire, if the answer is positive, on a hill near her home, on Arranmore Island. Matthew will be able to see the bonfire from Glen Head, near his home.

They make their arrangements for the following day, at the end of the day, that is, after dusk. Will Matthew see the bonfire in the distance, and therefore know what their future will be?

At The End Of The Day premiered in the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, in March, 2018, and two new songs and two new scenes were added for the productions in October.