On-stage premiere for novel by Limerick-based Donal Ryan

Rebecca Laffan

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Rebecca Laffan

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rebecca.laffan@limerickleader.ie

On-stage premiere for novel by Limerick-based Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan

LIMERICK-based author Donal Ryan’s acclaimed novel The Thing About December has been adapted into theatre, with its world premiere taking place this weekend.

The original adaptation of Ryan’s novel is by Jarlath Tivnan in collaboration with Andrew Flynn, who also directs.

Tense and complex, the play captures the loneliness of the outcast, the pain of being an orphan at any age, and the terrible consequences of parochial greed.

Ryan, who lectures in Creative Writing in University of Limerick, said: “The Thing About December is very precious to me, and I’m glad it’s in the hands of Andrew and Jarlath and Decadent Theatre Company, theatre-makers with a stellar record of bringing stories to life onstage with empathy, passion and verve.”

The Thing About December is set in rural Tipperary at the turn of the 21st century as the Celtic Tiger begins to roar.

Johnsey Cunliffe, a simple, naïve only child in his twenties, grieves the death of his much-loved parents.  

Harassed by local bullies and excluded by his peers, Johnsey’s isolation worsens when his inherited farm is re-zoned and becomes valuable. 

The clouds gather as a local conglomerate connive to tempt him into giving up his family’s land, while Johnsey, the unlikeliest of heroes, tries to hold on to those things dearest to him.

The cast of The Thing About December includes Patricia Bohan; Tara Finn; Maeve Fitzgerald; Ruairi Heading as Johnsey; Ann Marie Horan; Ger Howard; Frankie McCafferty; Mary McHugh; John Olohan; Patrick Ryan; Peter Shine and Jarlath Tivnan.

Donal Ryan is the author of four best-selling novels and a short story collection.  He was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 for his debut novel, The Spinning Heart, and again in 2018 for From A Low and Quiet Sea.  

His many awards include the European Union Prize for Literature, the Guardian First Book Award, and three Irish Book Awards.

Preview performances of The Thing About December in Town Hall Theatre in Galway are on June 13-15, continuing through to June 22.

See www.tht.ie to book.