Press Release for Crowded Kitchen Players production
of "The Revolution"--- The Irish War of Independence 1919-1921
Crowded Kitchen Players will present its new play, “The Revolution: The Irish War of Independence 1919-1921” at The Charles A. Brown Ice House in Bethlehem, March 14-17, 2024.
“The Revolution”, also known as “Cogadh na Saoirse”, is told through a series of dramatizations and stirring personal accounts of the events that led inevitably to the savage guerilla war that lasted from early 1919 until a truce in mid-1921.
Throughout the play, evocative songs of the War Years will be performed by Joey Mutis III of The Electric Farm. The time-honored ballads include the haunting Valley of Knockanure, The Bold Fenian Men, and Boolavogue. Mutis has been described by Northeast Regional Folk Alliance as creating “an aural landscape that sweeps over” the listener.
The play is the second part of Crowded Kitchen Players’ trilogy that began with last years “The Rising” that recounted the stirring but tragic attempt on Easter Monday 1916 to end British rule in Ireland, but was crushed by British troops after only six days of fighting. The Rising’s leader were executed within days of their surrender, and a new era of British suppression of Irish freedoms and culture was imposed.
The Irish War of Independence was an undeclared guerilla war between the irish Republican Army, representing the newly elected Sinn Fein parliamentary government and British police forces and auxiliary troops that sought to maintain England’s seven hundred year suppression and colonization of Ireland.
“The Revolution” unearths long-forgotten depredations of Ireland by the British that range back to the Middle Ages, along with the smothering Penal Laws they imposed that reverberate in Irish culture, politics, and society to this very day.
The play colorfully recounts the self-sacrifice and heroic deeds of such luminaries as Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, and Countess Markiwiecz.
But it also unveils the many previously unsung heroes of the tireless effort to break free of British oppression, introducing the regional audience to Dan Breen and Sean Treacy, whom many credit with igniting the War through violence when diplomatic strategies were falling short; Brighid O’Mullane, who courageously and at great personal risk, secretly recruited thousands of women to join Cumann na mBan, the paramilitary organization that supported the Irish Republican Army; and Tom Barry, whose savage Kilmichael Ambush of Royal Irish Constabulary troops led most directly to talks of a truce.
“The Revolution” features Trish Cipoletti, Dan Ferry, David Oswald, Pamela Wallace, Sharon Ferry, Bruce Brown, Colleen Popper, Denise Shelton, Joe Grahek, Fiona Sweeney, Mary Pat Lemass, almost all of whom are of direct Irish descent. The play is scripted and directed by Ara Barlieb.
Fiona Sweeney’s grandfather, Peter Paul Galligan, was a participant of The Rising, imprisoned following the failed insurrection, and elected as a Sinn Fein member of Parliament that established The First Dail in 1918, which immediately declared Ireland’s independence on January 21, 1919.
“The Revolution” will be performed in the downstairs theater of The Ice House. It lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Parking is free. Theater tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at ckplayers.com or by phoning 610-704-6974.