Recent tour of At The End Of The Day hailed as a 'resounding success'

Blue Wall Theatre Company's recent tour of the new musical At The End Of The Day, in four venues across County Donegal has been hailed as a 'resounding success'.

Inspired by the patchwork quilt 'Love Across The Waves' by Arranmore and Tir Boghaine Women's Groups, At The End Of The Day was performed by Blue Wall Theatre Company in Hall Mhuire, Glencolmcille, Arranmore Community Centre, Arranmore, Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon, and An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, with standing ovations and rapturous applause at the end of every performance.

Nora Flanagan, who was in the audience for the show in Arranmore Community Centre, said "The powerfully emotive lyrics are evocative, and the musical would not go amiss on Broadway or the West End".

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 Shauna Scanlon, 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 featured Catherine Gallagher, as the notorious Biddy Devenney, who sought revenge after being refused free fish by the fishermen at Darney Pier. Pauric Havlin, and Sean Bonner, were Henry Francis Conyngham and George Vaughan Hart, the members of Parliament for Donegal. Chris Duddy and Troy Devaney joined the cast as Patrick Hegarty, Matthew’s mentor, and Edward Lyons, Matthew’s father, respectively. Ella McLaughlin played Ellen, Nuala’s sister, and Sarah Breslin, a young neighbour of Biddy’s, while Tracey Faulkner portrayed local gossip Bridget O’Donnell. Eddie Mulligan, was Michael McCauley, a nineteenth century style ferryman and hackney, Anthony Redmond played various roles, while Matthew Doherty excelled as Young Matthew Lyons.

Original music, lyrics and book were by Leslie Long, whose last musical writing project was the AIMS award winning musical Caisleáin Óir, and direction was by Eddie Mulligan. Stage manager Tracey Faulkner also assisted with direction. Tanya Ward of Aishlingí Academy was the choreographer of the show. Costume design was by Sinéad O’Donnell-Carey, and lighting design was by Tony McGuire. Sound was by George Henderson assisted by Daz Condon. Denise Roper assisted 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 subsequent touring productions in October, 2018.