MICHAEL COLLINS, KITTY KIERNAN AND THE FORGING OF A NATION – A PLAY BY PATRICK TALBOT Skibbereen Town Hall, Skibbereen 7.30PM | €18/€15 CONCESSION TICKETS FROM THORNHILL ELECTRICAL, SKIBBEREEN | 028-22557
A Great Arrangement, written by the former CEO and artistic director of the Everyman Theatre, Patrick Talbot, is inspired by the letter correspondence between Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan, as well as Collins’ gripping speeches. Collins maintained a lengthy correspondence with Kiernan when he was in London during the Treaty negotiations. They wrote to each other almost every day. Some 300 of these letters were displayed in Cork Public Museum in 2000, offering an insight into some of the most important figures in Irish politics in the turbulent years that followed. The ‘great arrangement’ referenced in the play’s title is a phrase that Collins used to describe an imagined scenario of the two sitting side-by-side at a fireplace late in their lives. Sadly, it would never come to pass. Mr Talbot paints a compelling portrait of the couple, as well as of Ireland in the aftermath of the War of Independence, as the country slid irrevocably into civil war. In addition to the personal letters, Mr Talbot draws on the extracts from the Dáil Treaty debate and newspaper accounts of the period.