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    Thursday, June 13, 2024

    Chelsea Players stage a trio of short Irish plays

    Shannon Kelleher, Alex Fitzpatrick, John Lamar, and Mary Kay Kelleher rehearse the latest Chelsea Players production. (Submitted)
    Alex Fitzpatrick and Shannon Kelleher during a Chelsea Players rehearsal. (Submitted)
    Alex Fitzpatrick acts in the new Chelsea Players production. (Submitted)

    Chelsea Players of Norwich is going all-in on Irish plays. This weekend and next, the group is staging a trio of short works first produced at Dublin’s landmark Abbey Theatre at the turn of the 20th century.

    The plays are:

    The John Millington Synge comedy “The Tinker’s Wedding.” In it, a young woman convinces a young man to wed, and she has to talk a priest into performing the ceremony. Oh, and complicating things is the young man’s mother, who tends to be inebriated.

    In the Lady Gregory drama “The Rising of the Moon,” which deals with the Irish struggle over independence and unification, an Irish cop who works for the British is trying to find an Irish freedom fighter. The man is wanted for terrorist acts against the British.

    Another Lady Gregory piece rounds out the production. The comedy titled “The Workhouse Ward” finds a couple of frenemies trying to deal with becoming roommates in a “”workhouse,” a pauper’s infirmary in Dublin.

    Tim Moore directs a cast that includes, sometimes in multiple roles, Richard Weingart, John Lamar, Mary Kay Kelleher, Shannon Kelleher, Nancy Gatto, Jim Kenney, and Alexander Fitzpatrick.

    Also worth noting: Friday night’s show starts with a performance by the local Irish band The Bards of Gungywamp. And at the June 1 matinee, the Irish band The Peat Bog Ramblers will perform first, with the plays following.

    “Three Short Irish Plays,” 7 p.m. Fri. and Sat. and May 31 and 2 p.m. June 1, Casa UCC (formerly the United Congregational Church) 87 Broadway, Norwich; tickets are $12 in advance and for seniors at all times, $15 at the door (only cash or check); (860) 886-4114, email missyandtim@comcast.net.

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