Lugh and Balor

The Theatre of Komotini in Thrace, Northern Greece, decided to mount a show that highlighted the engagement of the area with the Celts, also referred to as Gauls and Galatians. The nearby Ancient Theatre of Maroneia dates from around the time of the Celtic invasions. It is a hugely important archaeological site (see here) but they allow one night each year for a dramatic production, and in 2016 that night was allocated to the Theatre of Komotini for this particular show. They invited local writer, Christos Chartomatsidis, and Jack Harte as an Irish writer, to provide short plays based on Greek and Celtic mythology. The resultant show, We Call Them the Galatians, was mounted on 20th August, 2016, before a packed audience in the Ancient Theatre of Maroneia - 2,300 years ago it would have hosted the plays of Sophocles! Afterwards the show moved indoors to their own theatre in Komotini.

Jack Harte's play dealt with the confrontation of Lugh and Balor at the Battle of Moytura. It was translated into Greek and also published in the magazine Mandragoras.

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The Mysterious History of Things

This play was first produced at the Viking Theatre in Clontarf, Dublin. It ran for two weeks from 25 July to 6 August, 2016. Directed by Bairbre Ní Chaoimh, it featured actors Seamus O'Rourke and Zara Burdon Yeates.

The Mysterious History of Things takes a wry look at the current obsession with fame and celebrity. Vanity drives millionaires and vandals to inscribe their names on our city buildings. The desire of people to see their names inscribed in History leads to even more intense and devious stratagems. When two people arrive at the cottage of the Historian, it is clear they are each on a mission. Can history be written to order? Can it be re-written? This light-hearted but provocative comedy pokes fun at the vanity of the rich and powerful and at the most revered accounts of our national past.

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Language of the Mute

Jack Harte made his debut as a playwright with Language of the Mute, which ran for two weeks -24 August to 5 September, 2015- at the New Theatre, Dublin, to full houses and to general acclaim. In May 2016, the play toured theatres throughout Ireland

Directed by Liam Halligan, the play is exciting and holds the audience on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. It opens with two ex-students invading the classroom of their old teacher, taking him prisoner, and setting up a Kangaroo Court to try him for alleged offences. While the play deals with an historic incident of child abuse, it takes a broad look at how idealistic people can be exploited and abused through their idealism. It illustrates how someone with great charisma can use that charisma for unscrupulous purposes. And, as the title suggests, it is about our inability to use language to communicate.

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Other plays ready for production are:

On the Dark Side of the Moon

There are five male characters ranging in age from 30 to 60, and one female, a tomboyish girl of 16 approximately. Running time 100 mins approx.

The behaviour of individual sub-atomic particles is totally random and unpredictable. However their behaviour collectively delivers an outcome that is predictable and as close to certain as makes no difference. Does human behaviour replicate this?  

Five men have established a social framework based on card-playing. They recognise the challenges presented by the randomness of the activity, but they have agreed parameters to deal with the element of chance. However, when the irrational is injected into their highly-organised random with the arrival of the young girl, the stability of their world is threatened.

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Cross Purposes

There are three characters, one woman, two men, all in their later thirties. Running time 90 mins approx.

Three roads diverged in a wood - and led to very different places.

The collapse of the Irish economy brings a reunion of three people who grew up together in a local authority housing estate in a small Irish town. They reflect on the past which is of course different to each of them. What each has become is also very different and brings them into conflict over current individual aims.

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The Island of Love

This play can be performed by six actors, four male, two female. Running time 100 mins approx.

We are our stories.

A brother and sister run a hotel they have inherited from their parents on an island off the west coast of Ireland. But the enterprise is sinking, and if they go so does the last of the island's traditional cultural life. Their particular culture is manifested in their stories. The arrival of two paramilitaries on the run and a researcher bring the dilemmas to a head.

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