Jim Nolan’s ‘Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya’ for Ballyduff

‘Pearse, Connolly, McDermott and the rest of their merry men; they died for a Republic. But we don’t live in a Republic. We live in an economy.’

Very, very funny, a little provocative and with the occasional swear word, ’Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya’ by Jim Nolan is now in its third and final week at Garter Lane Theatre, and coming to St Michael’s Hall, Ballyduff Upper for one night on Wednesday, 30th March at 8.15pm.

The response from critics and the audience is extraordinarily positive, with Dermot Keyes reporting in the Munster Express saying ‘Jim Nolan’s work lit a fire under me in the best manner possible’ giving the world ‘a genuine glimpse into what life is really like in the Irish regional newsroom.’

The Irish Times says the play ‘essentially a meditation on the shape of the nation as it celebrates the Rising, is lightly metaphorical and stealthily topical.’ And in the Sunday Independent, Emer O’Kelly says ‘Jim Nolan has an unapologetic affection for small-town life. But it never blinds him to its dangers and its faults.’

Directed by the author, the play is a topical and provocative contribution to the forthcoming Easter Rising Centenary Commemoration and to the wider debate on the challenges and complexities of remembering.

Set in a provincial newspaper office in the Irish Midlands in the run up to Easter 2016, the privately owned Inishshannon Chronicle has just been acquired by a media conglomerate and the new brush is about to sweep clean.

As the newspaper’s staff adjust to radical changes in its structure and ethos, the town it serves prepares to celebrate a tenuous connection to the Easter Rising.

The revelation that this connection is not quite what it seems puts the Chronicle’s editor on a collision course with both his new bosses and the local business and political community.

The production stars Michael Hayes, Garrett Keogh, Jenni Ledwell, Ema Lemon and Ciaran McMahon. Tickets from 051-855038 or www.garterlane.ie