Exactly one hundred years since the historic 1916 Easter Rising, one of the pivotal events in modern Irish history, Ireland’s Call plays The Congress in Eastbourne on May 5 – the last date of the UK tour.
The show is a new musical adaptation of the earlier show Essence of Ireland.
Creative Director Ged Graham said: “Inspired by true events and spanning three decades, this uplifting musical tells the story of one man’s love for his Irish homeland. The story follows the extraordinary journey of the strong-headed Sean Dempsey, who at the end of World War Two leaves behind his childhood sweetheart Cora and his beloved homeland Ireland, in search of a better life in the Big Apple.
“Can their love survive the Atlantic divide? Will Sean be able to resist Ireland’s call as he embarks on an adventure full of danger, tragedy and lost love? Only fate will tell.”
Ged believes 2016 is the perfect time to launch the show: “We are really looking forward to bringing the show to stages across the world, starting with some of the UK’s most prestigious venues in 2016, a year set to be a huge celebration of Irish culture to commemorate the centenary of The Easter Rising.”
On Easter Monday, April 24 1916, members of the Irish Volunteers and the Citizen’s Army occupied buildings in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic. The rebellion was quashed after six days by the British army. For Irish nationalists, Easter 1916 signalled a rebirth of a nation – a key event leading to Sinn Fein’s landslide victory in 1918, the war of independence against Britain (1919 – 1921), and the creation of the Irish Free State.
Worldwide some eighty million people claim Irish heritage, sixteen times the population of Ireland today.
Ged was born in the Liberties in Dublin and remembers moving to the UK when he was nine: “Everyone has been separated from loved ones and their homes at some point in their lives, so this is a story that people can really engage with and relate to, myself included.
The audience is drawn in to the story and swept on a journey that is both heart-breaking and heart-warming! It is set against a backdrop of key historical events including America’s introduction to rock and roll, the rebuilding of London post-World War Two and John F Kennedy’s historic presidential visit to Ireland in 1963. It’s a story full of emotional highs and lows.
“An exhilarating mix of original scores and well-known songs such as Galway Girl, Isle of Hope Isle Of Tears, I Loved Her First, Tell Me Ma, Irish Rover, Ireland’s Call is a powerful, explosive blend of energy, emotion and music which leaves audiences from around the world on an unforgettable high.
“Ireland’s Call is a timeless celebration – a celebration of dreams, enduring love, the resilience of human spirit and of the powerful pull between one man and his homeland.”
Ireland’s Call will be shown at 7.30pm. Tickets £22.50, concessions £20.50, under 16s £18, available at eastbournetheatres.co.uk or call 01323 412000.