Frank McCourt’s belongings come home for display

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

THE MANUSCRIPT of ‘Tis, the follow up to the bestselling Angela’s Ashes, will be on display in the Frank McCourt museum in the coming weeks.

THE MANUSCRIPT of ‘Tis, the follow up to the bestselling Angela’s Ashes, will be on display in the Frank McCourt museum in the coming weeks.

The manuscript is being donated by a private individual, while Ellen McCourt, the widow of the Pulitzer Prize winning author, has begun donating dozens of items belonging to him to the museum in his name, following his death in 2009.

Cuff-links given to the author from former US president George Bush, a collection of his rosary beads, and McCourt’s personal copy of Angela’s Ashes which he read from in readings around the world are now among the items on display to the public.

All of the items in the museum on Hartstonge Street in the city - in McCourt’s former school building - are in sealed glass cases, including the robes he wore when he was conferred with an honorary degree from the University of Limerick.

Una Heaton, an art teacher and curator of the museum, confirmed that new acquisitions, during a visit to the museum last week by Adam Howell, the composer behind Angela’s Ashes: The Musical.

The play will be staged in Limerick for four nights this July on the fourth anniversary of Frank McCourt’s death as part of The Gathering.

After its debut in Derby in England last November, the cast of 46 will be bringing the musical production to the Lime Tree theatre in Mary Immaculate College for four performances from Wednesday, July 17 to Saturday, July 20.

“It’s a wonderful theatre, a really nice venue, and all we need to get now is the audience, but we’ve had a lot of enquiries already, both from the UK and Ireland,” composer Adam Howell told the Limerick Leader.

Some of the props used in the film of Angela’s Ashes, starring Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle, will also be used in the forthcoming stage performance. The red coat, which was worn by the actress in the 1999 film directed by Alan Parker, is also part of the museum’s collection and will be worn on the new set.

Mr Howell, who produced the music and lyrics for the show, said it’s “a dream come true” to bring the production to Limerick. “We’re so looking forward to bringing it here, and all the cast are very excited, because some of them have never visited the home of Frank McCourt,” he said.

Collaborator Paul Hurt adapted the book into a script, which has been condensed down to two acts of 80 minutes each. It has been produced by UnContained Arts and Theatre Works, both of which are based at Derby theatre.