BALLINA ARTS CENTRE in association with CO-MOTION MEDIA
presents THE BIG FELLOW, by Declan Gorman,
based on Frank O’Connor’s biography of Michael Collins
“If there were no wild boys, there would be no great men” Frank O’Connor’s mother wrote to him in 1922, when he was a prisoner-of-war at Gormanston prison camp. This original play, based on O’Connor’s writings, captures the life and times of the wildest boy of them all, Michael Collins, as he graduates from masterminding the most dare-devil raids, prison breaks and escapades of the War of Independence, to commanding the official army of a newly-formed state. Greatness did indeed follow Collins but so too did division, torment and tragedy. And herein lies the mystery. Frank O’Connor fought against Collins’ side in the Civil War. So why did he divert from a glittering literary career just a few years later to write a book apparently in praise of his dead enemy?
“The Big Fellow” is an imaginative and entertaining piece of non-stop, high-energy theatre, from the action-packed opening images to the gripping conclusion. It is driven by a powerful score composed by Colin Blakey (ex-Waterboys) and Cillian McNamara’s evocative lighting. “Outstanding performances by both actors bring to vivid life a nation caught up in the excitement and turmoil of formation.” It has already mesmerised audiences from Mayo to Mumbai, Dublin to Delhi, Birr to Bengalore. Now, in a new co-production with Ballina Arts Centre, don’t miss this wonderful drama on its first ever visits to Cork, Limerick and Belfast
“A combination of physical energy and historical passion … totally engaging.” Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent
“Insightful, inspiring and profoundly moving… A wonderful use of humour is what differentiates Gorman’s drama from other historical narratives.” Orla O’Dea, Westmeath Examiner
“A mischievous and refreshing production.” Saoirse Anton, The Reviews Hub
“Engaging and original” Sara Keating, Sunday Business Post
“A clever, powerful theatrical story. The audience saluted the writer and two actors with a resounding standing ovation.” Liam Murphy, Munster Express
Script developed with support from The Abbey Theatre literary department
Contains strong language and simulated gunfire. Not recommended for children under 12 years.
Ballina Arts Centre: Wed March 6th (book here)
Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick: Fri March 8th (book here)
Everyman , Cork: Mon 11th – Wed 13th (book here)
Lyric Theatre, Belfast: Fri 15th – Sun 17th (book here)