John MacKenna and Leonard Cohen.
A new play by Kildare man John MacKenna featuring the songs, music and writings of his friend, the late Leonard Cohen, will open in a matter of weeks.
President Michael D Higgins and the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers will attend the premiere on June 15, of Between Your Love and Mine which Mr MacKenna describes as a requiem for young people.
Last summer, Mr MacKenna approached his long-time friend Leonard Cohen with the idea of staging a requiem in memory of young people who had died and in honour of those who mourn their loss.
“Leonard was immediately supportive of the idea,” MacKenna says, “and told me I was free to use whatever material I found suitable. The requiem is not for Leonard.
“Rather it’s a work by him, shaped from his songs, poems and writings from his Book of Mercy.”
Mr MacKenna worked on arranging the requiem last summer and by late October the script was in place.
“I last spoke with Leonard about the project in late October and he gave me the go-ahead. Little did either of us imagine that two weeks later he would be gone.”
Between Your Love and Mine draws on the songs, lyrics, writing and a late unpublished poem of Leonard Cohen and will premiere in Carlow on June 15th before touring to 11 other theatres across the country over the following three weeks.
Musical director for Between Your Love and Mine is Aisling Carter and it features the voices of Eric Butler, Katie Jacques and Shane Sullivan. The band features Lucy Deegan and Meadbh Farrell on cello; Annie Rose Deegan on violin; Aisling Carter on piano and David Day on percussion.
Spoken word for the requiem is by Angela Keogh and John MacKenna, who also directs.
Kildare audiences can see the new production on Friday June 30 when it comes to the Moat Theatre for one night only.
Tickets at the Moat are already selling fast.
Read Mac Kenna's tribute to his late friend, Leonard Cohen.
Read more on the work of John MacKenna here.