52nd Drama Festival to start with “The Empty Nest”


The 52nd Festival opens with a new play by Oisin Flores Sweeney, directed by Geoff Gould and starring Seamus O’Rourke and Joan Sheehy.

On a winter’s night in Westport Tony (Seamus O’Rourke) and Sheila (Joan Sheehy) sit in their wingback chairs sipping wine as the television flickers. After 40 years of marriage they find themselves at a somewhat mundane crossroads in their lives. With their children grown and gone, and their granddaughter a little too often underfoot, they’re left in a hinterland of life, pondering what to do next. The glow from the television offers little comfort or entertainment but between them both Tony and Sheila have plenty to say, even if they don’t always say the things that really matter. Sheila dreams of travel and adventure, or even just a new lawnmower, but Tony’s penny pinching puts a damper on anything with a price tag. Instead, he wants to focus on his new diet; the one that will infamously “start on Monday”. The spark in their love life may have been extinguished over time, but their quick witted interactions are electrifying. And who’s to say that this isn’t the just the beginning of something better for them both.