‘Explosive comedy’ to make Friars’ Gate theatre debut

John Rainsford


John Rainsford

John Sheehy with the Men Without Souls poster
The hilarious comedy, Men Without Souls, is making its world première at Friars’ Gate Theatre, in Kilmallock, this week.

The hilarious comedy, Men Without Souls, is making its world première at Friars’ Gate Theatre, in Kilmallock, this week.

The play, which was written by Limerick man John Sheehy, stars Ciaran Bermingham, Johnny Elliot and Cora Fenton.

It is being supported by Limerick City of Culture and also by Ballyhoura Development.

Ardpatrick native, John Sheehy, Theatre Artist in Residence, at Friars’ Gate Theatre, explained:

“With Cora Fenton I am a founding member of CallBack Theatre Company. Since its inception, CallBack has produced and toured all over the country, with a number of plays, at various festivals and venues. It is now, primarily, focusing on producing and touring new work, the latest of which is Men Without Souls.

“At CallBack we try to create an environment where people are not afraid of taking risks and everyone is encouraged to share their ideas. These can range from genius to downright ridiculous but we try them all-with rehearsals often descending into laughter. Things get more intense as we move into the final week of rehearsals and opening night looms. However, we try to never lose sight of the fact, that at the end of the day, we are here to play.”

The storyline of Men Without Souls concerns the confluence of three very different lives. Harry is a frustrated writer and Malcolm, an Estonian smuggler. Their dispute, over the noise being caused by the latter’s dog, leads to the intercession of a third party, in the form of a student writer, turned peacemaker, leading to hilarious consequences.

“One of the main attractions of writing for me is that I get to be my own boss,” commented John Sheehy, whose previous plays, (Set in Stone and Fred and Alice), also premièred at Friars’ Gate Theatre. “I have never been very good at taking orders from others, so working alone on a play, suits me very well. I, also, like to direct my own work which keeps me involved in the process from start to finish.

“Brian Friel is one of the all time great writers. Indeed, we studied Philadelphia Here I Come at school. It was the first play that I had ever read and it made a huge impact on me. I, later, went on to play Gar Public in a couple of productions and it remains one of my favourite parts as an actor.

“Coming-up, in the spring of 2015, I have a new play called The Hole which will, likewise, première at Friars’ Gate Theatre, before transferring to Dublin, for a five week run. As part of my current residency I am writing a new play, called Dog Shit City, which I hope, will go into production, early in 2016!”

Men Without Souls, written and directed by John Sheehy, runs at Friars’ Gate, from Tuesday October 14 until Sunday, October 19 at 8pm. Tickets are €15/€13. For information about bookings call Friars’ Gate Theatre on 063-98727. Please also see the websites: www.friarsgate.ie and www.callbacktheatre.com