Red Army is a celebration of rugby, friendship, and empowerment. Picture above: Darren Ryan
The play follows four diehard Munster fans who are in Paris for their beloved team’s first rugby match of the season
By I Love Limerick correspondent Ellie McCarthy
Red Army is set to premiere in the Lime Tree Theatre from Saturday, October 22 – Saturday, October 29. The play, which was written by Helena Close, and Marie Boylan is said to be a love affair of the sport that unites us as a county.
It is directed by Pat Kiernan and stars Claudia Carroll, Cora Fenton, Frances Healy, and Joan Sheehy as four Munster supporters.
Red Army is a celebration of Munster Rugby, of women as pundits and fans, it acts as a homage and tribute to Anthony Foley and the insatiable passion for the game.
The play follows four diehard Munster fans who are in Paris for their beloved team’s first rugby match of the season. Over the years, a team in decline shows the cracks in the four women’s friendships with one another.
The women have been members of Munster’s Red Army for over a decade. From staying in a brothel in Castres to singing ‘Stand up and Fight’ on a tram in Treviso and winning both Heineken Cups in Cardiff, they’ve been there. Now we find them in Paris for the first match of the season in October 2016.
But when team manager, Anthony Foley, dies hours before kick-off, it acts as a catalyst for honesty in their friendships as the play follows them from on their journey from leaving from Paris to returning home to a grieving Limerick after the shock death of one of Limerick’s most respected men.
In the shadow of Axel’s death, their own personal stories unfold across a pivotal week, charting their friendships, loves, and daily lives. It culminates in one of the most important matches at Thomond Park as Munster takes on Glasgow Warriors, just a day after the Limerick hero’s funeral. These women must now ‘Stand Up and Fight’ with their team and a highly charged Red Army. Their lives are forever changed.
Playwrights Helena Close and Marie Boylan said, “As die-hard Munster Rugby fans, Red Army is a play we felt compelled to write. It’s a tribute to the club, the fans, the city of Limerick, and the late Anthony Foley. Bringing this story to life has been a team effort. From the crew at the Lime Tree Theatre; our director Pat Kiernan who understood our vision for the play implicitly; the stellar cast; and an incredible creative team. We began writing in 2017 and like a dogged Munster team we persevered and are thrilled to finally share Red Army with audiences as the first in-house production at the Lime Tree Theatre”
Louise Donlon, Executive Director of the Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable said, “We couldn’t be more excited to be presenting what promises to be a glorious celebration of Munster rugby and the women (and men) who live and breathe the sport. This is also a very big step forward for the Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable in its new producing role – a fully professional show that is providing employment and experience for a whole new generation of theatre makers. We can’t wait to present it to our loyal audiences, both new and old. It’s our community, our family, our team. Richard Harris says it best: It is the story of a love affair.”
The final show that takes place on Saturday, October 29, has delayed the performance start time to 8:15 pm due to the Ulster V Munster fixture in Thomond Park. There will be no performance on Sunday, October 23.
Tickets are €27.50 and €25 for the matinee performance.
For tickets to Red Army, go HERE
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