Irish community's new theatre group to make debut at Rugby Theatre's Fringe Week - The Rugby Observer

Irish community's new theatre group to make debut at Rugby Theatre's Fringe Week

Rugby Editorial 15th May, 2024   0

THE IRISH community in Rugby has formed a new drama group which will take its first bow at Rugby Theatre’s forthcoming Fringe Week.

The group, formed by local business owner Sean Quigley, will stage a production of the classic 1959 Irish play Sive by dramatist, novelist, poet, raconteur and publican John B Keane.

Well known for promoting music locally, Sean also has a passion for the theatre since watching plays in his home village of Newbliss in County Monaghan.

In 1966, he first watched a production of Sive, which has become one of Ireland’s best loved plays.




A story of a battle of generations, a country in flux, exploitation, greed, love and tragedy set in a remote area of North Kerry, the play tells of the marriage of the young and beautiful Sive to an old man – told with Keane’s lyrical dialogue and Irish humour.

When Sean watched the play again 40 years later in New York, he thought that there were enough characters in Rugby to perform it – so he set about finding a local director.


After almost a year of searching, local drama teacher and Rugby Theatre director Nicky Main volunteered to take on the task with support from friend and fellow director Bev Avis Dakin.

Nicky said: “This project was about taking members of the local Irish community who have never acted before and giving them the tools and support to recreate this moving tale.

“Although it has been a long process, there has been such fun along the way and no tears – apart from when the script demands them.”

Nicky wanted to reward the cast for their hard work by arranging for them to perform the play at Fringe Week, which takes place at the Henry Street venue from May 18 to 26.

The group hopes to perform many more plays in the coming years.

Sive takes place at Rugby Theatre on Sunday (May 19). Visit www.rugbytheatre.co.uk for more information.

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