Briery Gap premieres Ireland’s first musical murder mystery

Patrick Bergin who plays Dr Philip Cross in ‘Murder at Shandy Hall’. It is the first major production to be hosted by The Briery Gap Theatre in Macroom, County Cork, since the building was damaged by fire in May. The musical opens in the company’s temporary home, The Riverside Park Hotel in the town, on Thursday, October 13 and continues over 6 nights. It also runs at Cork’s Opera House for one night only on Thursday, October 27. Also included are wife and mistress, Mrs. Laura Mary Cross (Stephanie Shine) and governess, Effie Skinner, (Geraldine Barry Murphy)

Posted on: 11th October, 2016

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

Briery Gap Theatre will host a theatrical milestone this October with Ireland’s first musical murder mystery, starring stage and film actor Patrick Bergin. ‘Murder at Shandy Hall – The Musical’ premieres on October 13 at Riverside Park Hotel. The there will be a further five performances in Macroom – October 14, 15, 20, 22 and 23 – before the show moves to Cork Opera House on October 27

This original musical, with Patrick Bergin in the lead role of Dr Philip Cross, is set against the tranquil rural backdrop of Dripsey near Coachford. Here a true sensational Victorian murder, which at the time grabbed newspaper headlines all over the world, is played out with a potent mix of love, lust, betrayal and ultimately naked hatred. The cast of real characters includes a cruel killer cloaked in respectability; a beautiful and naive governess 40 years younger than Dr Cross; a blameless wife; a brilliant young pathologist; a canny and clever murder detective; two accomplished courtroom adversaries; a caring judge and a notorious hangman. The supporting cast includes a myriad of servants, villagers, neighbours and witnesses in the investigation and trial, all underscored by great music and song.

Michael Sheridan’s ‘Murder at Shandy Hall’ has been cleverly adapted to the stage by the author, with music and lyrics by local singer/songwriter Alan Kiely and Cork native Kevin Connolly, with the support and encouragement of the Briery Gap’s Artistic Director Ann Dunne and the board of the iconic arts centre.

The concept was developed by Alan Kiely with the intention that the musicians and cast would be drawn from the very locality in which the real life story was set; to bring to life a drama with universal themes that is embedded in the history of the area. This promises to be one of greatest theatrical events ever staged in Macroom due to its originality and a supremely talented cast, chorus and production team.

Due to the fire in May that caused extensive damage to the Briery Gap Theatre, the past months have been extremely difficult but the board would like to thank the local community for rallying around; going forward this continued support will be essential to the continued success of Briery Gap.

Tickets for ‘Murder at Shandy Hall’ cost €20 and €18 and are now on sale from www.brierygap.ie or by calling 026 41917. Further info is also available by emailing boxoffice@brierygap.ie.

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