Aisteoirí Muinchille perform John McGahern's Power of Darkness.

The Power of Darkness for the Townhall

Aisteoirí Muinchille make their way to the county town as they stage ‘The Power of Darkness’ in Townhall. The latest production by the Cootehill drama collective is a John McGahern play directed by Tommy McArdle.

The show will be performed at Townhall Theatre, Cavan on May 14. John McGahern’s only stage play ‘The Power of Darkness’ began life as an adaptation of Tolstoy, but after many drafts he decided it was a different play.

In ‘The Power of Darkness’ Paul King, an Irish landowner, is dying. His wife is half his age. He hasn’t allowed his wealth be used to spread ease or comfort. He also has a grown daughter, Maggie, and a young second wife, Eileen. His servant boy, Paul, is something of a womaniser. Paul’s mother, Baby, is manipulative and ambitious for Paul, and this leads the plot into some dark corners. It’s a tale of greed, desire, poisonous intent and a sort of justice that comes from an unexpected source.

Old fear

‘The Power of Darkness’ reflects a world of a not too distant past. The title is a description of the force that drives it; sexual ignorance and the old fear of famine that leads to irrational greed.

The director has assembled a very strong cast in Angela McCrosson, David Clarke, John Meehan, Seamus Smith, Fiona Coll, Jim McQuaid and Mary Brigid Duffy.