Madcap tale of murder and intrigue

Roscommon Drama Group’s latest presentation was the farce entitled ‘But Why Bump off Barnaby’ and it was staged last weekend in front of packed houses on the three nights at Roscommon Arts centre. The play is a madcap tale of murder and intrigue at a period house in the country. Baronet Orion le Duc invites members of his family to the house for a special dinner party but all is not as it seems as the guests begin to arrive. The trouble begins when some of the guests who arrive are uninvited and strange things begin to happen. Young Barnaby Folcey who is a nephew of Le Duc is murdered and one of the uninvited guests Jeff Barnet (Kieran Madden) sets out to find out what happened and who was responsible. However, Barnett who is a newspaper reporter, has his hands full as suspicion falls on everyone of the guests (including himself) and even the hired help, the butler Medkins (Con Connolly) and maid Magnolia (Bernadette Maher). The whole madcap scene is complicated by an elderly member of the family Lady Barbara Fenwick (Collette Conlon) who is stone deaf and by an elderly governess Miss Barnsdale (Deirdre Kelly) who is very particular about how people speak to her. There is a neurotic girlfriend Dora Dunstock (Shauna Costello) and others who arrive for the dinner party. The plot thickens as le Duc, Miss Barnsdale and Cleo Barton (Dympna Naughton) all disappear before the terrible truth is revealed. Needless to say there is a pot of gold at stake here too! The dialogue is sharp and witty as the cast get their teeth stuck into a play that must have been a difficult one to rehearse. However it was a very enjoyable romp that held the interest right to the end. Kieran Madden was excellent as the reporter-turned-sleuth Jeff Barnet while Con Connolly was again top class in the role as the butler and he turns up at the end of the play most unexpectedly too! Deirdre Kelly was also very good as the stroppy and very particular Miss Barnsdale and Shauna Costello was also very convincing as the dizzy Dora Dunstock and the full houses were in agreement that the Roscommon Drama Group had delivered another excellent performance in this most unusual of plays. Then full cast was: Con Connolly, Bernadette Maher, Paul Keane, Derek Campbell, Colette Conlon, Evelyn Killeen, Dympna Naughton, Kieran Madden, Deirdre Kelly, Shauna Costello and Jim Conlon and the play was produced by Mary Cox.