Frank And Friends To Brew Up Some Great Entertainment At The Ballymac

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The Hy-Breasal Players rehearsing at The Ballymac Bar on Thursday. Seated from left; Kay Dowling, Gillian Wharton and Mary Higgins. Back from left; John Creagh, John Patton, Siobhan Keane, Eleanor Sugrue, George Lowe and Frank Houlihan. Photo by Dermot Crean

IT’S good to be back.

That’s the general feeling among the Hy-Breasal Players who will get back on stage next week to perform ‘Strong Coffee’, seven short plays written by Frank Houlihan.

Taking place in The Ballymac Bar, capacity is reduced due to COVID restrictions, so it’s no surprise that the six dates are now sold out, truly evidence that theatre-lovers just want to get out and be entertained by this talented group of actors.

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Frank Houlihan can’t wait for opening night and a return to the stage. The plays were written pre-COVID so they are a long time in gestation.

“We’re waiting a year and a half for this. It’s great to back to it, doing what we love. There’s a great community of actors here in Tralee — many of us also perform with John Fraher’s Zyber Theatre — so we share and draw from the same pool of actors,” said Frank.

All seven plays are set in a coffee shop and a sure to entertain. One is about two ladies who plot revenge against a butcher who has been conning them out of cuts of meat over the years, another is about a young boy who is being bullied and confides in his uncle.

There’s an extensive cast of  Frank Houlihan, John Patton, Mary Higgins, Siobhan Keane, George Lowe, Ewan Morris, John Fraher, Judy Costello, Sorcha Uí Shuilleabhain, Raphael Crowley, Fiona Griffin, Emer O’Daly, Gillian Wharton-Slattery, Kay Dowling, Eleanor Sugrue, Rhona Johnston and John Creagh.

There is also a charity aspect to the performances as there will be a raffle on opening night in aid of Comfort For Chemo Kerry, while they are also supporting Kerry Mental Health Fest.

Frank expressed his gratitude to The Ballymac Bar and the Creagh family for all their support in staging the plays.

While the performances on October 13th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 21st and 22nd are all sold out, further dates may be added in the future at Madden’s Cafè, Tralee and in Halla Le Chéile An Leith-Triúigh in Brandon.

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