‘Appendage’ world premiere tour takes in The Courtyard Theatre

Stephen Kelly, c21's co-founder, can be seen in Appendage in the Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl on Monday, June 18.
Stephen Kelly, c21's co-founder, can be seen in Appendage in the Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl on Monday, June 18.
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‘Appendage’, a black comedy drama by New-York based Dublin playwright Derek Murphy, is to make its world premiere in Northern Ireland this month, touring theatres throughout the country, including The Courtyard Theatre at Ballyearl on the Doagh Road on Monday, June 18.

The play, which is being produced by local theatre company c21, is set on one night in an affluent New York suburb and is a dark, comic, psychological thriller that tells a tale of love, death, betrayal, booze and a rather comfy sofa.

The two-hander stars New York actor Nick Hardin alongside c21’s co-founder Stephen Kelly, who lives in Glengormley.

Appendage centres on Jack and Peter, two very different men who are brought together one night as a result of a road traffic accident. Peter invites Jack into his house to recuperate and as the evening unfolds we realise the men have more in common than initially thought. As they share their most intimate and profound secrets a strange, tenuous bond develops between them and their ties to a woman sees them both fighting for their lives.

c21 was set up in 2005 with the aim of bringing the work of unknown international playwrights to Irish audiences. Its production of the edgy comedy drama ‘Not A Game For Boys’ by Simon Block, which centred around three Belfast cabbies-cum-table tennis players, was brilliantly received by audiences and critics alike when it toured Northern Ireland last year.

Speaking about deciding to produce Appendage, Stephen Kelly commented: “We were introduced to Derek’s work by my co-star Nick and felt Appendage had the perfect story and tone to fit in with the c21 ethos. We did a rehearsed reading of the play in last year’s Pick ‘n’ Mix Theatre and Dance Festival in Belfast and it was really well received. After this we secured Arts Council funding to bring Derek over to workshop the play and develop it over a week in November at the Lyric Theatre. This process went so well that we decided we would be fools not to take the play into full production and here we are!”

While the c21 team were in rehearsals for the Northern Ireland tour of Appendage, the play featured in a rehearsed reading in its home city of New York as part of the TRU Voices Play Series. Appendage was one of three plays to be selected out of a submitted 100 to be read in front of a number of high profile American theatre producers. The aim of the reading was for the play to be picked up by a producer and financed for full production and touring in America.

For information and tickets to the Appendage show at Ballyearl meanwhile, ring the Box Office on Tel: 028 9034 0202 or log on to www.theatreatthemill.com

The play is suitable for those aged 16yrs + and contains strong language and adult themes.