Drama based on well-loved fairytale aims to challenge

Orla Ní Thiobraide plays Mara, the sister who mysteriously disappears in Wake, Deirdre Sullivan's theatrical reworking of The Little Mermaid.
Orla Ní Thiobraide plays Mara, the sister who mysteriously disappears in Wake, Deirdre Sullivan's theatrical reworking of The Little Mermaid. PHOTO: MATT BURKE

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale, The Little Mermaid, is the inspiration for Wake, a new drama from No Ropes Theatre Company that will be staged in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre from next Tuesday February 12, to Friday, February 16.

Wake, penned by award-winning Galway author Deirdre Sullivan and directed by Mairéad Folan, is set in contemporary Galway and tells the story of sisters Caitríona (Tara Breathnach) and Mara (Orla Ní Thiobraide).

Mara has gone missing and Caitríona is trying to discover what has happened to her younger sister, while also dealing with her own loss, her love, her anger and pain.

Mara has left very little behind – just memories of a childhood story and the legacy of increasingly strained interactions with Caitríona in the months before she disappeared.

This lack of information, coupled with Caitríona’s fear that something dreadful may have happened to Mara, has left her struggling to cope.

“The core message in the production is the relationship between the sisters, how it starts breaking down and if that could have been avoided, had circumstances been different,” explains Mairéad Folan, adding that issue of violence against women and “disregard for women’s lives” in Ireland underscores the plot.

“We use the fairytale element as a device to explain the missing sister and her emotional thought processes and experiences before she disappears.”

No Ropes are in the final weeks of rehearsal and she’s pleased that its coming together.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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