It's not often you get a phone call informing you that a local playwright's work is being read at the prestigious Irish Repertory Theatre in New York featuring a top TV star.
That's just what happened recently, when the Leinster Leader learned that Newbridge man, Darren Donohue's play titled Dual Cats with One Crayfish was due to be performed as part of the New Works Reading Series 2017-2018 last Friday, October 20 featuring none other than Beth Fowler.
This American actress and singer is best known for her performances on Broadway and for her role as Sister Ingalls, on Orange Is The New Black.
“It's very exciting to have this opportunity,” said Darren, who is the son of Michael and Mary Donohue from Standhouse Road.
“Beth Fowler is a two-time Tony Award nominee and to have someone of that calibre involved is amazing.”
The actress has also appeared in films including Sister Act, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, I Don't Know How She Does It, and Mulan.
Fowler also guest starred on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Gossip Girl.
If the play reading is a success, and the theatre decide to stage the play, Darren said this would be the biggest achievement in his career to date.
The play tells the story of Winnie Kirwan and Maeve Brennan, who have been friends for over forty years. When Winnie is expelled from Tuam Bowling Club for “behaviour unbecoming of a club member,” it pitches her against Ranjiv Sibal, an Indian doctor determined to preserve his family’s good name.
Maeve acts as a peacekeeper, attempting to resolve their dispute. But she has her own agenda, which threatens to consume them and trigger a violent culture clash.
Dual Cats with One Crayfish paints a portrait of modern Ireland that is rich in dark humor investigating themes of spirituality, identity and forgiveness.
Darren is an award winning playwright and poet.
He lives in Kilkenny with his wife Margaret and daughter Emily.
His plays have been produced in Dublin, London, Barcelona, Milan and Prague.
Darren's play, Dayshift represented Ireland at the Festival on the Crisis PIIGS in Barcelona. It then transferred to Milan in Italy for runs at the Tramedautore Festival and Teatro Linguaggicreativi.
The Newbridge native is no stranger to success and was shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award in 2010 for "emerging poetry" and was shortlisted again in 2015.
In 2016 his play, Tuesday Evening (following the news) was performed at Irish Arts Centre in New York and The Kennedy Centre in Washington DC as part of Tiny Plays for Ireland/America.
The playwright is currently under commission with Rough Magic Theatre Company, Fishamble and The Abbey Theatre.
Darren has written numerous plays and readings for the Abbey Theatre including Home Game, The Death of Actaeon, El Paso, The Barkhausen Effect, and Home-from-Home.
His work is published by the Irish Theatre Institute, Associacio Catalana Perpetuum Mobile, Stagescripts UK and New Island Drama. The Newbridge man is heading out to New York this week in advance of the reading and is really looking forward to seeing his play being brought to life in this prestigious theatre. The Donohue family has no shortage of talent, with Darren's sister Brenda a familiar voice on our TV screens and radio shows.