Playing on the Radio: Staged Readings

A Roscommon Arts Centre Creative Ireland Project in association with Roscommon Drama Group

“Playing on the Radio” brings together members of Roscommon Drama Group with well-known Roscommon actor Enda Oates. Over the summer months the group worked with Enda both virtually and in person at Roscommon Arts Centre on two new productions: J.M. Synge’s “The Tinker’s Wedding”  and Lady Gregory’s “Spreading the News” for radio which will now be performed live as “staged readings” before being broadcast  later this year.

The Tinker’s Wedding tells the story of Sarah Casey, a young tinker woman, the beauty of Ballinacree, who makes a bid for respectability by marrying with Michael Byrne, father of her children and companion on the roads for many years. She attempts to inveigle the local Priest to marry them with the inducement of a crown and a new tin can. Mary Byrne, Michael’s porter swilling mother, without meaning to, finds herself tripping up these proceedings. But when the priest goes back on his word, he feels the wrath of the tinkers.

Spreading the News  is a short one-act comic play by Lady Gregory which she wrote for the opening night of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, 27 Dec. 1904. This one-act comedy of rumour and misinterpretation is set in a small town in rural Ireland where gossip is prevalent. The story revolves around Bartley Fallon who has a pessimistic outlook on life, Jack Smith who is a jolly person, the gossiping townspeople and a new magistrate who comes to the town, anticipating the worst and suspicious of everything. Bartley merely wants to return Jack his hayfork but as a result of Mrs Tarpey’s hearing impairment and the townspeople’s love and passion for gossip, there is a misinterpretation of the situation. The townspeople soon believe Bartley is out to murder Jack. One misunderstanding leads to another, resulting in the arrest of Bartley and Jack by the magistrate.

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 from and

Staged Readings will take place from Saturday 2nd October – Tuesday 5th October |  nightly at 8pm I €15

Broadcast Dates To Be Announced

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