The legend of Tír na nÓg and The Land of Eternal Youth is one of Ireland’s most beloved tales, but in a major new musical to premiere in Dublin next month, the ancient fable will be turned on its head.
Described as Ireland’s answer to Wicked, Tír na nÓg will run from 11-19 June at the dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum. Directed by Katie O’Halloran, the groundbreaking production will have audiences on the edge of their seats as they begin to learn that there are two sides to every story, even the ancient ones.
The show is written by Shauna Carrick and what started life as a song written in her bedroom, has grown into a large-scale production that has been over four years in development. Speaking ahead of the premiere, Carrick said: “Many of us will be aware of the traditional story of Niamh, the princess of Tír na nÓg, who appears to the brave warrior Oisín and brings him back to the land of eternal youth. But we’ve only ever heard Oisin’s version of events, this time it’s Niamh’s turn! It’s going to be quite an immersive experience, when audience members arrive at the theatre they will feel as if they have walked into a clearing in a forest. This is where the story begins, and apart from a short interval, it’s two hours of non-stop musical action.”
The new musical is bilingual and the dialogue and songs mix words and phrases from the Irish language. However, Carrick explains that audience members won’t need to understand any Irish to engage with the show: “Many people feel intimidated by the Irish language, I really wanted to break that. It’s an Irish story, but you don’t need to be fluent in Irish, and while there is a bit of girl power, the show is for everyone. It’s a coming of age story about the difference between following the rules and doing the right thing. It’s rare to see indigenous musical theatre productions created at this scale in Ireland, it’s a great chance to experience something brand new that has not been seen anywhere else.”
Tír na nÓg, The Musical will star Ellen Whitehead as Niamh Cinn Óir and Eoghan Collins as Oisín.