Touring Abbey production to mark opening of Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Mary Immaculate College’s state of the art Lime Tree Theatre will welcome a major touring production from the Abbey Theatre to mark the official opening of the new venue.

Mary Immaculate College’s state of the art Lime Tree Theatre will welcome a major touring production from the Abbey Theatre to mark the official opening of the new venue.

A classic of the Abbey’s repertoire, The Plough and The Stars by Sean O’Casey, will visit the 510-seater theatre for a five night run in October, one of just a handful of places in Ireland it will visit.

It is likely the first full scale production from the Abbey to come to Limerick in 30 years and it represents a major coup for new Lime Tree manager Louise Donlon.

“We are very excited about it. We had to open with something really big that would make a significant impact and announce the venue, not only locally and regionally, but nationally,” said Ms Donlon, who left her position as director of Dunamaise Arts Centre in Laois for the new role.

The Longford native, who worked in Limerick as administrator of Island Theatre Company in the mid 90s, later taking up a position as general manager of Druid, said the theatre would function as a commercial venue and as a community space.

“We want to make it clear to everybody that we are here for them to use the venue. We will try and make it work for everybody.

“It is beautifully designed, there are great acoustics and the stage is one of the biggest in the country, comparable to the very largest venues,” she added.

A number of organisations have used it in recent months, and Ms Donlon is still working on a programme to begin in mid-September. Three full time staff will be employed, with a box office manager and technical manager currently being recruited, plus several part-time staff.

The Plough and Stars will run from October 30 to November 3. Booking is available from July 6 at www.limetreetheatre.ie.