By Suzanne Pender
THE Kings are back! It’s five years since Idrone Players, Borris first put on Jimmy Murphy’s award-winning play The Kings of Kilburn High Road and now they are returning to Borris Town Hall with a two-weekend run in early June.
The play tells the story of six young Irish working men who emigrated to London in the early 1970s. Like so many of their generation, they spend their lives in manual labour jobs – digging ditches or construction work. They intended to stay only a little while, make some money and return home as successful men, but that day never seemed to arrive.
Now, thirty-something years later and still in London, five of them gather in the side room of a pub for an informal wake for one of them who has died.
The entire play takes place in one afternoon and evening at that pub, as the characters drink to their fallen friend – the only one to make it home, albeit in a coffin. Secrets are revealed and lies are uncovered.
The play is directed by Tony Murray, who directed the Idrone Players’ original production of this play, Gerry Murphy returns as the arrogant Jap Kavanagh and is supported by Billy Canning as Maurteen, Kieran Lucas as Git, Conor McCarthy as Shay and John Joyce as ‘Big’ Joe Mullen. The five actors are all delighted to be giving Borris audiences another run of ‘The Kings’
“Five years ago, we had only a three-night run and we knew at the time there was a demand for extra nights, so now, anyone who missed it has a chance to see it, and, indeed, anyone who enjoyed it can come back again,” said Billy Canning.
“Rehearsals are going very well, and while the lines didn’t come back to us immediately, we did quickly get back the play’s pace and humour,” he added.
Billy describes the play as a tragic/comedy, while many people will recognise the fate of these immigrant workers in the 1960s and ’70s, who left Ireland in pursuit of ‘sacks full of riches’ only to end up with shattered dreams and ‘sacks full of lost chances’.
The play runs from Friday to Sunday 9-11 June, and again on Thursday and Friday15-16 June nightly at 8pm in Borris Town Hall. Admission is €12 and due to the mature content, the Idrone Players have given an over-16 advisory.