New work from Limerick playwright Mike Finn due next year

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

MIKE Finn looks likely to bring a new play all about Limerick life to the Belltable next year after the reworking of Pigtown proved a big hit with audiences.

MIKE Finn looks likely to bring a new play all about Limerick life to the Belltable next year after the reworking of Pigtown proved a big hit with audiences.

Relatives of President Michael D Higgins were in the audience for the final performance of Pigtown, which took place at the Belltable Arts Centre last weekend.

And the president himself is expected to visit the venue at some point in the near future, Cllr Tom Shortt added.

Pigtown was written by acclaimed playwright Mike Finn in 2000, and the Thomondgate writer brought the play about his native city up to date this year with a community cast.

The flagship show in the Belltable Arts Centre’s summer schedule, Limerick responded to the performance, with more than 2,000 people packing out the O’Connell Street venue across the last three weeks.

What was unique about this rendition of Pigtown was that the 17 actors in the show were drawn from the community, and had little or no acting experience prior to this.

Labour councillor Tom Shortt, a member of the board of the Belltable, and a performer in Pigtown said the cast are sad to see the show end.

“The revival of Pigtown has been a great success and has been enthusiastically received by an audience of over two thousand people during its fifteen performances over the last three weeks,” he said.

The amateur cast were led by professional Moyross-born actor John Anthony Murphy, who took the lead role of Tommy Clocks.

As one door closes, another opens, and Cllr Shortt said that Mr Finn and director Paul Brennan will return to the Belltable next year.

“This project is only the start of a new venture in Community Theatre at the Belltable led by artistic director Gerry Barnes,” he said, “We are aiming to produce plays about the city which appeal to a Limerick audience and that the successful team of Limerick playwright Mike Finn and director Paul Brennan are expected back in the Belltable with a similar production next year.”

After the final performance, John Higgins remarked how scenes from the play, which is set in 1940s and 50s Limerick, brought back fond memories of his childhood.

The President spent the early years of his life in the Ennis Road before moving to Clare.