‘Hairy Jaysus’ in the Viking Theatre

Hairy JaysusHairy Jaysus, Donal O’Kelly’s solo show inspired by Frank Sheehy Skeffington, will have its world premiere in the Viking Theatre @ Connollys’ The Sheds, Clontarf, Dublin, at 8pm for five nights from Monday 14th October until Friday 18th October.

Frank Sheehy Skeffington was James Joyce’s friend in UCD. When he professed to be an atheist, Joyce dubbed him ‘Hairy Jaysus’. He married Hanna Sheehy, they shared each other’s surnames, and campaigned for votes for women. He was a pacifist and a socialist. Close to James Connolly, he was active in support of the locked-out workers of Dublin in 1913. He served time in Mountjoy Jail for opposing recruitment for the First World War. He was summarily executed in Portobello Barracks Rathmines, on Wednesday of Easter Week 1916. He is rarely remembered among those executed.

Donal O’Kelly recently won a Fringe First in Edinburgh with his solo show about the Shell Corrib gas project, Fionnuala, also nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression award, and The Stage Best Solo Performer award. His 3-part musicdrama radio series, Francisco, which he wrote and directed, is nominated for Best Radio Fiction Series in the Prix Europa. Fishamble: The New Play Company will present his play, Little Thing Big Thing, on tour in Ireland early next year.

Hairy Jaysus will be broadcast on RTE Radio at 8pm on Sunday 1st December.

To book tickets (€10) contact The Viking Theatre: 087 1129970.

Donal O’Kelly’s “Fionnuala” wins Fringe First Award

Donal O'Kelly Fringe 1st (Willie Corduff)
Donal O’Kelly dedicates the Fringe First Award he received for “Fionnuala” to Willie and Mary Corduff

Afri are delighted to announce that Donal O’Kelly’s play about the Corrib Gas Project, “Fionnuala” has won a Fringe First award during the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Joyce McMillan described “Fionnuala” in the Scotsman as “Gripping, funny and full of a rich sense of Ireland’s great tradition of myth and legend… ruthlessly precise in its analysis of the deep malaise of 21st century Ireland in its subservient relationship with global corporate power and the threats faced by all of us in an age of ever more desperate energy extraction.”

“Fionnuala” is about the Corrib Gas fiasco foisted on a small rural community in County Mayo. Ambrose Keogh works for Shell. When the Tunnel Boring Machine he named Fionnuala sinks into the bog in Erris Co. Mayo, he is magically confronted by Fionnuala of the Children of Lir. Fionnuala puts a geas on him – he’s bound to tell the truth – about Shell. That brings to light some stark truths that Shell management would prefer wasn’t in the public arena. And it brings Ambrose back to his old primary school desk-mate, now an anti-Shell campaigner.

At the awards ceremony in Edinburgh, Donal dedicated the Fringe First to Willie and Mary Corduff and also thanked the people of Kilcommon for their support. Donal stated, “[I] hope that Fionnuala playing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival can be used to highlight the severe abuse of their basic civil rights for over a decade.”  Donal also thanked Afri and the 84 people who crowd funded the visit to Edinburgh for their support.

Article about Donal winning the Fringe First in Hotpress: here

Also, Donal speaking on RTE’s Arena show on Friday about the win (starting at 16 minutes in), click here.