‘Playing on the Radio’ brings together members of Roscommon Drama Group under the direction of well-known Roscommon actor, Enda Oates for a special series of staged readings and radio broadcasts from Saturday (October 2nd) to Tuesday (October 5th).
Throughout the summer months, the local drama group worked with Enda (who plays Pete in hit soap Fair City) on Zoom and in person on two new productions, JM Synge’s ‘The Tinker’s Wedding’ and Lady Gregory’s ‘Spreading the News’.
This week, Enda told Roscommon People that it was great to be back following the long Covid-19 lay-off.
“This project was envisaged by Averyl Dooher (Roscommon Arts Centre) because she wanted to produce something with the Roscommon Drama Group,” he said.
“Because of the restrictions we had to keep putting it off because we couldn’t get into the arts centre to rehearse. The productions were created for radio but due to the lifting of restrictions can now be performed live as staged readings in front of a small audience before being broadcast to a larger audience on radio”.
Enda says this “two-pronged approach” will allow audiences to enjoy what is a unique project.
“They are two plays from the 1900s, Lady Gregory’s ‘Spreading the News’ was the very first play to be staged at the Abbey Theatre in 1904. It’s a one-act comedy. ‘The Tinker’s Wedding’ came a few years later.
“At the moment we are performing the plays with two separate casts in order to accommodate everyone,” he said.
Enda has enjoyed the journey, which began all the way back in May via Zoom.
“I’ve really enjoyed it, it was lovely to get involved. There’s some great talent in the group and they are a fantastic bunch to work with. They seemed pleased with it too and I think they enjoyed my company – they didn’t give out to me anyway!
“I’ve done a lot of work on radio and of course on television but it was a nice way to explore another skillset. Hopefully now our audiences at the arts centre enjoy the performances over the coming days,” he concluded.
The productions are supported by the Creative Ireland Roscommon programme. Creative Ireland is an all-of-Government five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. Further information is available via creative.ireland.ie and ireland.ie.
Staged readings will take place nightly at 8 pm from Saturday, October 2nd, to Tuesday, October 5th. The cost is €15 and tickets are selling fast, so book early! Broadcast dates will be announced at a later date.