‘It feels like coming home to friends!’

This week, Fregoli Theatre member and director of ‘Cross Street’, Eimear Finan, spoke to Dan Dooner ahead of the play’s premiere at Roscommon Arts Centre this evening (Thursday)…


Cross Street by Jarlath Tivnan
Roscommon Arts Centre.
Photo Brian Farrell

Hi Eimear, start off by telling us about yourself and Fregoli Theatre… 

Well, I’m originally from Galway but trained as an actor in the United States before returning home and joining up with Fregoli Theatre in Galway.

The company started in 2007 and gets its name from Leopold Fregoli, who was a renowned ‘quick-change’ artist. He was so quick at switching characters that the audience believed he was more than one person.

In the early days of Fregoli there was a strong element of fast costume changes but in recent years it’s become more about using new writers and that’s where Jarlath Tivnan from Boyle comes in. He wrote ‘Cross Street’.


How did ‘Cross Street’ come about?

We started what was supposed to be a one-year residency at Roscommon Arts Centre in 2019 and the theme was ‘home’. In the arts centre we had finally found our home and then Covid-19 struck and everyone was looking at what ‘home’ meant to them.

Jarlath started working on Cross Street as part of this residency and so the play itself is two years in the making. It has lots of heart and soul and it was the strangest feeling having time with a piece of work because normally it’s pretty rushed due to budgets!


Tell us about the play…

Cross Street is set in a communal rental house where a new housemate (Enid) arrives one night. You watch different people who have their own things going on and while they don’t really want to be part of this place at first, they realise it is necessary. We all need that sense of home or community and it’s about the importance of human connection.


How does it feel to be back performing for live audiences?

It’s pure joy! I don’t think there are any nerves yet among the cast either. It feels like we are coming home to friends at Roscommon Arts Centre and everyone’s really excited.


Written by Jarlath Tivnan and directed by Eimear Finan, the Cross Street cast includes Jarlath Tivnan, Delia Keane, Paige Leavy, and Peter Shine. It will be performed at 8 pm tonight (Thursday) until Saturday (27th). Tickets cost €16/€14. To book, phone 090-6625824 or visit roscommonartscentre.ie.