Classic Tomelty play returns

THE first professional revival of Actor and playwright Joseph Tomelty’s best loved play, All Souls Night, will return to the stage for the first time in 20 years to celebrate the centenary of his birth.

Centre Stage Theatre Company will premiere the production for the first time since the play was staged to celebrate Tomelty’s 80th birthday 20 years ago, in The Playhouse.

The show takes place prior to the play touring the Province which will end with a two-week run at the Lyric Theatre’s Naughton Studio.

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The author’s daughter, Roma, will star in the play, which will come to The Playhouse for one night only on Saturday, October 29, part of the city’s Halloween Festivities.

Universally regarded as an Irish Classic, All Souls Night is set on the shores of Strangford Lough in the home of John Quinn, an illiterate fisherman, Kathrine, his miserly wife and Michael his ambitious son.

The dramatic events take place on All Souls Night when traditionally the dead return to their home hearths and the Quinns have lost their youngest son, a year ago to the sea.

Poverty and superstition dominate this isolated fishing community but it is Kathrine’s greed that will get the upper hand, driving out the finer things.

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With its heightened language and images drawn from things familiar to everyone, All Souls Night has some of the authors finest writing, muscular but lyrical, the tragedy tempered by his unfailing compassion. It has been staged and broadcast across the world and is the play that inspired JB Keane to take up his pen.

Roma Tomelty takes the role of Kathrine with Gordon Fulton, recently returned from playing ‘The Weir’ with the Scena Company in Washinton DCs H St Theatre, as John Quinn. Mark Claney, Rosie McClelland, Conor Maguire and Dermott Hickson also feature with veteran JJ Murphy, a student at the Group theatre when the play was first produced, completing the cast.

Colin Carnegie directs and John Leslie designs.

All Souls Night is supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland through the National Lottery Fund. Tickets are £11/ £8 and available from The Playhouse Box Office on 028 7126 8027 or book online at