MEMBERS OF THE gardai have formed their very own dramatic group and the first stage production they are taking on is John B Keane’s play, The Chastitute.
All the cast involved are connected to the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin. The production will be performed for three nights in April at St Michan’s Church in Dublin and all proceeds will go to charity.
This is the first gardai drama group as far as one of the cast members, Garda Mary McCormack is aware of. Speaking to TheJournal.ie she said she had been in the force for eight years and had not heard of another similar group.
The dramatic group began with Garda Niall Cadden, who is also the director of The Chastitute. Garda Cadden went to see a local play last year and thought it would be great to put on a play in aid of charity. He told TheJournal.ie:
I thought a local dramatic society would be a good idea to get the community to see a different side to the gardai.
Garda Cadden added that he had no problem getting people involved in the play stating that even after all the roles had been filled he had other people asking to get involved.
The Chastitute play is based upon the character, John Bosco, a 53 -year-old bachelor living in rural Ireland. Keane’s play portrays Bosco’s experiences with the opposite sex. He is a bachelor farmer just searching for a plain decent woman to share his life with him. Due to some religious sexual guilt, lack of social skills and lack of opportunity Bosco has lived a life of celibacy – but he does endeavour to change his situation.
There are an array of characters in the production from drunken floozy women played by Gardai Mary McCormack, Ailbhe Byrne, Elaine Cusack and Helen Corbett, interfering missionaries played by Liam Kavanagh and Mick Lennon, and also some disco dancing locals played by Garda James O’Connor.
The pressure is on the Bridewell gardai as they near their opening night but Garda McCormack states that the rehearsals are going well. “We used to rehearse just twice a week but now we are rehearsing five days a week – all in our own free time,” she said. Many of the actors have never been on the stage before, but Garda McCormack said everyone is helping out.
Garda McCormack who plays a rather jaded woman in the play said she was immediately on board when Cadden suggested they put on a play. She is one of the cast that has a little drama experience having performed in a few plays while she was in secondary school. “I haven’t had any problems learning my lines,” she said adding that the hardest thing is the stage direction and getting used to all the props. Garda McCormack plays the character that tries to seduce John Bosco into bed – but needless to say it all goes pear-shaped. “She is a very loose character – put it that way – and she likes her vodka,” she said.
“I hope we can carry the group on,” said Garda Cadden adding “I would encourage other gardaí groups to pick up on this. It would be great to get other groups involved,” said Garda Cadden.
He also pointed out that it was a good way to get the community involved. All proceeds of the play are to go to Temple Street Hospital, The Leanne Kidd Leukaemia Trust Fund and the Capuchim Day Cantre.
The Chastitute takes place from 13 April- 15 April. Tickets are €10 – and are available from Bridewell Community Policing Office on 01 6668246.