A Night on the Hill
(Two-Act Stage Play, 2016, Commissioned by Enniscorthy Drama Group)
It is the eve of May 3rd, 1916. In Dublin, the executions of the Easter Rising leaders have begun. In Wexford, British soldiers with the help of others are rounding up rebels. On Vinegar Hill, first cousins Bull and Rash, two Enniscorthy Volunteers, await news from the town below, hopeful that the lifting of the rebels will soon cease.
They talk of their town, the Hill, Commandant P.H. Pearse’s visits, but when Bull’s trusted friend Birdie arrives with news of Pearse’s execution, and that one of the soldier’s hunting Bull is a man from Bull’s tragic past, Bull’s inner demons surge and his doubts around how much he’s willing to sacrifice intensify.
Later, even though visited by Cathleen Ní Houlihan in a dream, a mythical heroine who endeavours to refuel Bull’s dedication to her and to Ireland, it is only when Bull wakes and comes face to face with the soldier hunting him that he is forced to not only air some hard-truths about his family’s past, but also to finally decide on which future he desires most.
Though influenced by witness statements and archives of participants in the Wexford Rising, and by newspaper articles of the time, this is a play of fictitious characters and households that explores culture and comedy, war and consequence, religion, class and love, as well as the sacrifices both sought and offered by the people of 1916.
Script available on request.
As part of the Co. Wexford Easter Rising Centenary Commemorations programme, Paul was commissioned to write this full-length stage play to be premiered in 2016 by Enniscorthy Drama Group in the newly restored Athenaeum theatre.
The Athenaeum was the headquarters of the Volunteers during the 1916 Easter Rising in Enniscorthy.
Premiere Performance Cast and Crew, May 5th, 2016:
Athena: Annemarie Whelan
Bull: Fintan Kelly
Rash: Michael Whelan
Birdie: Margo Whelan
Cathleen Ní Houlihan: Julie Fox
Paddy: Fergal Kelly
Director: Jimmy Kavanagh
Assistent Director: Fintan Kelly
Set Design: John O’Gorman