Live music adds to one-woman show that explores loneliness and sanity


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Live music adds to one-woman show that explores loneliness and sanity Live music adds to one-woman show that explores loneliness and sanity

The Hare, a play by Clare Monnelly and Bob Kelly, featuring actor Úna Ní Bhriain and musician Steve Wickham of the Waterboys, will visit Galway from next Thursday, February 29, to Saturday, March 2, as part of a nationwide 10-venue tour.

The one-woman play, with live music composed and performed live by Steve Wickham, is being presented by Once Off Productions.

It’s about a young woman in rural Ireland and how she deals with being isolated by her friends, while also exploring how best to navigate staying sane – examining if she’ll yield to her innate wildness or deal head-on with a supposedly civilised world that rejects her.

This unnamed, troubled person (Ní Bhriain) has never known her father – although his presence looms large in her life – and her mother is confined to bed.

Lonely and living at the edge of the world, the young woman is ridiculed by her peers and is unable to fit in. So, she creates her own world and lives as best she can. She sees other people, but keeps them at a distance. The Hare is set on a day where a letter arrives, offering her the possibility of a life away from this place and these people.

The play, directed by Bob Kelly, premiered at last year’s Cairde Arts Festival in Sligo, going on to play Cork Arts Theatre and the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire.

Clare Monnelly’s first play, Charlie’s a Clepto, was nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards and the Stewart Parker New Playwright Bursary. Her second, minefield, premiered at the 2019 Dublin Fringe Festival and received three Fringe nominations. Also an actor, Clare has worked with Druid, the Gate, the Abbey and Decadent and has been nominated for an Irish Times Best Actress award.

Director Bob Kelly is also an actor and playwright who has written for Landmark Productions (a musical adaptation of Pat McCabe’s Breakfast on Pluto, which got a rehearsed reading in Galway at the 2019 Arts Festival) and for Sligo’s Blue Raincoat (Tintown). His most recent writing project is a new staging of Pat McCabe’s  The Butcher Boy.

The Hare will be at Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre from February 29 t 2 at 8pm nightly.

Tickets are €20, from 091 568660, at the box office, or online at

Pictured: Úna Ní Bhriain and Steve Wickham in The Hare.

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