by John B Keane

Maura Farrelly McGuinness
Ann Kiernan
Kate Ledwith
Seamus O'Rourke
Ronan Ward
Charles McGuinness
Sean McIntyre
Gus Ward
Brian O'Reilly

Directed by

Killian McGuinness


Loui Finnegan
Damien Reilly
Philip McIntyre
Stephen Tierney
Barry McIntyre
Jacqui Rooney
Una Ward
Elizabeth McGlynn
Bridget Whitton
Tony Fahy

Home Shows 2007
Saturday 1st December
Thursday 6th December
Friday 7th December

Charity Night
Saturday 8th December

Thursday 13th December
Friday 14th December
Saturday 15th December
Wednesday 19th December
Thursday 20th December
Friday 28th December
Saturday 29th December
Friday 3rd January
Saturday 4th January
Sunday 5th January

Show Starts

8:30pm sharp


Tel: (049) 4339612

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It's Your Line...
RTE All-Ireland Finals
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Sive by John B Keane

‘Sive’ is a powerful folk-drama set in the south-west of Ireland which concerns itself with the attempt of a scheming matchmaker and a bitter woman to sell an innocent young girl to a lecherous old man.
John B Keane

At the beginning and at the end, things often look the same. Things begin in confusion and end in confusion. And so it is appropriate that the plays of John B. Keane which dramatised so many of the tensions of the new era inaugurated in the 1960’s in Ireland should be given a new life in this new millennium. When Keane started to write Sive in the late 1950’s emigration had reached 50,000 a year and rural Ireland was facing momentous changes: industrialisation, the end of the extended family, new attitudes to sexuality. Now fifty years later immigration has replaced emigration and many of the changes which Keane’s best plays explored have proved not to be the solutions we thought they might be. The times and the questions may be different, but just as Keane needed to explore those changes from one end, so we need to explore them from the other.

The re-exploring and redefining of Keane’s plays in the Abbey Theatre in the 1980’s represented a belated recognition, on the part of the National Theatre, of Keane’s importance. This belated welcoming of Keane’s works happened long after they have been accepted by theatre audiences around the country as plays which spoke to them and about them. There is a tendency to see Keane’s play Sive as in some way primitive or naive because it’s form is quite simple and because it deals with the rough passions of sex and greed. For sure it does evoke a primitive power that is readily understandable to anyone in rural Ireland in the way it draws on folk tradition and the religious conflict of good and evil. However we hope our presentation exposes the sharpness and subtlety of the play and shows it to be a play less about a mythical clash of good and evil and more about the human dilemmas that confront ordinary people in times of change.

Sive has a fearful visceral force about it but it is also a thoughtful and keenly observed dramatisation of social change. For instance Mena may be a bad and greedy woman prepared to sell her foster child for financial gain, but she is also a woman desperately trying to come to terms with the coming change, to get her family in shape for the fast approaching future and to do the best for her husband and herself. Hopefully our presentation gives the play that dimension.

Killian McGuinness
Bookings: 087 2570363 or bookings@cornmilltheatre.com