The Last Burning (2012)

by Patrick Galvin

'I have jumped over the fire. The fire is in my womb.' From left to right: back row, Paul O'Mahony, Eilish McCarthy, Hazel Doyle, Roísín Dolan; front row, Jenny O'Donnell, Teresa Brennan, Roísín Lynam.

‘I have jumped over the fire. The fire is in my womb.’
From left to right: back row, Paul O’Mahony, Eilish McCarthy, Hazel Doyle, Roísín Dolan; front row, Jenny O’Donnell, Teresa Brennan, Roísín Lynam.

Michael Dolan vehemently believes his wife, Bridget Foley, is a witch, yet he is unable to prove it to the village. In desperation, he turns to the witch-doctor Blaney for help. Though Bridget protests her innocence, strange events and her stranger behaviour raise suspicions in the town. Paranoia, uncertainty and lust fan the flames of fear, leading to a gripping climax and an unforgettable theatre experience.

A ‘rural horror-story’, The Last Burning is based on the case of Bridget Cleary, burned by her husband Michael Cleary in turn of the century Tipperary. His defense for his crime was that he thought his wife had been replaced with a changeling by the fairies.

Cast:
Michael Dolan: Enda Clarke
Bridget Foley: Muireann Ní Raghallaigh
Blaney: Darragh O’ Brien
Mr. Foley: Emmet Byrne
Flynn: Oisín Robbins
Quilty: Rory Kitt
Witches: Cáit Canavan, Roisín Lynam, Chloe Stone and Tara Faherty
Villagers: Sam Ó Fearraigh, Ruth Darcy and Martin Kenny

Nun’s Island Theatre, Galway: 5th and 6th August
Cork Arts Theatre, Cork City: 8th and 9th August
St. John’s Theatre, Listowel, Kerry: 10th August
Canavan’s Pub, Tuam: 13th August
Hayden’s Hotel, Ballinasloe: 14th and 15th August
The Boys’ School Theatre, Smock Alley, Dublin: 16th and 17th August

“The dark power of the supernatural”, Galway Advertiser, July 26 2012
“Last Burning for Nun’s Island.”, Galway Independent May 30 2012

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