Wexford Arts Centre in association with Four Rivers present: A Public Reading of The Polished Trunk by Reenagh Mc Call Directed by Katie McCann The Polished Trunk recounts the experiences of a returning first world war soldier to a new mythic Ireland, following the Rising that has happened in his absence. As his WW1 allies around the world are celebrated, he is shunned and essentially cancelled as he returns from a foreign war to a National one. Told from the remembered experiences of Annie, who recalls her grandfather John’s stories from the battlefields of Gallipoli and Jerusalem while clearing away his trunk of war memorabilia. With each item she uncovers, his stirrups, his helmet, his puttees; she is reminded of war stories he had shared with her as a child and the tales he told of growing up in Wexford. We flashback to experience the period before the Rising through the perspective of John’s Wexford family, divided between Redmondite and Independence ideals, that see John enlist, supporting Home Rule and their teenage son, Joe, become entangled in the Rebellion. All for the love of Ireland; up close fighting for it, or far away defending it, there are harrowing consequences to their decisions for the family, who have to live in the shadow of their service.CastNaoise DunbarTiernan Messitt GreeneElishka Lane BarnesSharon ClancyOlga ConwayElizabeth Rose BrowneMichael DunbarFintan KellyAbout Reenagh: Reenagh McCall grew up in the family business at the Classic Cinema, surrounded by storytellers. The Polished Trunk is inspired by short and tall stories told to her by her Grandad as a child. Reenagh’s love of theatre began in college, where she wrote the music and lyrics for ‘Mr. Grey’ the musical, at UCD Dramsoc. She also wrote and directed a number of short scripts and films while at UCD. Notably, ‘Ar Chúl an Tí’ which was selected by Jim Sheridan as student film of the year. Reenagh studied screenwriting under the guidance of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was selected to participate on the year-long Writer / Producer / Director programme with Filmbase. Reenagh received an award from Screen Training Ireland for screenplay development with the BBC and from the Arts Council to attend and interview Quentin Tarantino at a Masterclass at MOMA, London. Growing up, Reenagh watched as regulars and the curious gathered to do the ‘Timewarp’ for the infamous 23-year run of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Corset clad characters filled the Classic cinema, both on screen and off. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Reenagh also worked with her mother, patenting lingerie inventions. As a Designer, Reenagh was a finalist for Irish Designer of the Year and won ‘The Ultra’, ‘Most Creative Design Award’ in Paris. She is currently working on a memoir about these experiences entitled ‘Foundations of Happiness.’ Reenagh was recently shortlisted for the Colm Tobín International Short Story Award and selected to Meet the Publisher by the Wexford Literary Arts Festival. Reenagh is interested in remembering the forgotten. Other works include ‘The Dying’, exploring a woman’s experience before and during the Famine, which, like ‘The Polished Trunk’, attempts to give voice to the silenced. The Polished Trunk short play was selected and produced for the One Voice Festival 2023 at Wexford Arts Centre in association with Paul Walsh Productions. Reenagh holds a B.A. In English Literature and classics, a H.Dip. in Arts Admin. and an M.A. in Film and lives in Wexford with her husband, Andrea and two children, Kaelan and Sophia. Supported by Wexford County Council’s Decade of Centenaries Programme (2012- 2023) bursary and funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under their Community Strand.
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