Greystones Players – Arsenic & Old Lace

Greystones Players, Greystones’ dynamic community theatre group, has been busy despite the lockdown working on a radio play version of Joseph Kesserling’s infectiously funny black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. For one night and one night only, Greystones Players’ fans and followers and starved theatre lovers everywhere are invited to join them for their online premiere which can be accessed at 8.00 pm on May 23rd, 2021 via the Whale Theatre Facebook page. Broadcast by kind permission of Josef Weinberger Ltd.

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The original stage play was inspired by the case of a real-life serial killer and, despite initially starting it out as a serious horror/melodrama, the playwright Arthur Kesselring was persuaded of its comic possibilities and his screwball black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace debuted on Broadway in 1941. The plot centres on the Brewster family, a once elite American bloodline that has now descended into homicidal insanity. Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic and the most ostensibly normal of his clan, is faced with the dilemma of covering up for his sadistic kin while being torn between family loyalty and his desire to marry the woman he loves. The New York Times described it as ‘so funny none of us will ever forget it’, and the New York Herald Tribune called it ‘riotously hilarious’. The first production had a record 1,444 performances and it was made into the classic film directed by Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant.

As was common at the time for many stage plays in the golden age of radio, Arsenic and Old Lace was also adapted and broadcast as a radio play soon after. Greystones Players has taken that version, adapted by Ernest Kinoy, with further adaptations by director Aideen Walton.

CAST

Niamh Clancy | Abby Brewster

Joanne O’Shea | Martha Brewster

Conor Horan | Mortimer Brewster

Derek Lynch | Teddy Brewster

John Mardirosian | Jonathan Brewster

Violet O’Brien | Dr. Einstein

Katie Lacey-Curtis | Elaine Harper

Nicole McLaughlin | Miss Witherspoon & Brophy

Eoin O’Mahony | Reverend Harper & Lieutenant Rooney

 

PRODUCTION

Aideen Walton | Director            Pete O’Neill | Sound design, editing & mixing

 

GREYSTONES PLAYERS

Founded in September 2016, Greystones Players is a non-profit community theatre group based in Greystones, Co. Wicklow that aims to bring people together from Greystones and environs to work collaboratively on making great drama, and to enrich the cultural life of our town and area.

The Players past productions at the Whale Theatre include Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel (2017), Connections – An Evening of One-Act Plays (2017), The Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge (2018), Summer Shorts – Comedy Sketches & Musical Surprises (2018), Juno and the Paycock by Seán O’Casey (2018), Harvey by Mary Chase (2019) and Aideen Walton’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (2019).

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