Limerick Youth Theatre take over church for Chekhov

'Olga, Masha and Irina' in Limerick Youth Theatre's production of Chekov's Three Sisters, running in St John's Church in the city until Friday
IT is fantastic to see this week that St John’s Church - formerly home to the defunct Daghdha Dance Company - is being inhabited again by the excellent Limerick Youth Theatre, who are performing their take on Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

IT is fantastic to see this week that St John’s Church - formerly home to the defunct Daghdha Dance Company - is being inhabited again by the excellent Limerick Youth Theatre, who are performing their take on Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

The play opened this Monday and runs nightly at 7.30pm until Friday (except Thursday - tickets €10).

Directed by John Anthony Murphy, a founding member of Island Theatre Company, who has worked with professional crew and the young cast for five weeks to produce a reworking of the challenging play.

The play centres around three sisters and their desire to return to Moscow. Angie Smalis, artistic director of LYT said taking on the play was a challenge, but she was “thrilled” with the results.

“Deciding to stage a play of this importance was risky, and of course, very challenging for such a young cast,” she explained.

“I am absolutely thrilled the director and I decided to take up this challenge so we could give this talented cast something they could really work at,” adding that LYT’s focus is to continue to develop, support and sustain theatre making for young adults in Limerick city.

“In this production, a strong cast of first and second years are supported by a professional team to bring this emotionally complex work to the stage,” she added.

Murphy, who has been involved with Quarry Players and the community theatre production of Pigtown in recent years and is an award winning actor in his own right, said the play would have a contemporary relevance to audiences, saying “we have tried to find the ups and downs in these characters, to show that these sisters and those in their orbit are just like us”.

“They feel as we do, they sometimes hope and sometimes despair. They are us. This is what makes this play relevant and why it is still performed so often today. It is why I chose this work and is why I have asked this young, dedicated and brave cast to attempt to bring it to life.”