Cast Confirmed for Dave Duggan Play

Five Northern Ireland actors to feature in a new production of Still, The Blackbird Sings touring Derry-Strabane venues have been named

Creggan Enterprises has confirmed that casting is complete for a new script-in-hand touring production of Dave Duggan's Still, The Blackbird Sings.

The actors are John Mulkeen, with Creggan roots, returning from training and work in Glasgow; Derry~Londonderry woman Sharon Duffy, previously seen in youth theatre productions in the Millennium Forum and now working in London, with a recent production at the Arcola Theatre; and Gary Crossan, who appeared in Dave Duggan's theatre and film work in a hardware shop, McLaughlins 100, and has since been working in The Abbey and The Lyric Theatres.

Completing the cast are Andrew Porter, from Portrush, with experience of touring with Stones in his Pockets by Marie Jones, and Francis Harkin, a versatile and accomplished actor, notable for work in the Playhouse Theatre and admired for his recent performances in The Fountain: a musical play by Roy Arbuckle.

Speaking on behalf of Creggan Enterprises, Conal McFeely said: 'We're delighted to be producing another Dave Duggan play, following our success in court-houses with his play Denizen. This cast is great and we're particularly pleased to welcome John Mulkeen, a young actor with strong Creggan connections, son of well-known dramatist, the late Patricia Mulkeen, who did marvellous work in Creggan and across the city.'

Dave Duggan said: 'It's exciting to have the cast confirmed and I'm delighted we have five performers who have strong training and experience behind them. It's an innovative production and tour and these actors will bring the necessary energy and focus to make it a success.

First produced by The Playhouse in 2010, Still, The Blackbird Sings tells the story of poet-soldier Francis Ledwidge, who was in Ebrington Barracks in late 1916, in the aftermath of The Easter Rising and The Battle of the Somme.

A squad of Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, in 1916, are not long returned from war in the East, with tensions growing among them, following the Easter Rising and the Battle of The Somme. Their Lance Corporal and leader is Francis Ledwidge, writing love poems and lyrical verses, and wondering if he's made the right choices. When the lists start going up at Ebrington Barracks, for a new campaign in France, tensions boil over as war beckons once more.

Duggan is a dramatist and novelist, writing in English and in Irish. His most recent works are two new stage plays: Denizen, which toured court-houses and Makaronic, which toured Ireland. His film and online work includes the Oscar-nominated Dance Lexie Dance and political comedy Comhairleoirí, written for the BBC in 2011. He wrote the pilot episode for Na Deich nAitheanta.

Still, The Blackbird Sings, in a script-in-hand touring production by Creggan Enterprises, tours to non-theatre venues across the Derry and Strabane District Council area, September 12 - 16. The full list of dates and venues are below.

Monday 12 - 12 noon - Eglington Community Centre, 7:30pm - Ollies Cafe Ebrington Square

Tuesday 13 - 7:30pm - Irish Street Community Centre

Wednesday 14 - 7:30pm - New Gate Arts & Culture Centre (Hawkin Street)

Thursday 15 - 8pm - Studio 2, Skeogh Industrial Park (Greater Shantallow Area Partnership)

Friday 16 - 4pm - Royal British Legion Marquee, Ebrington Square, 8pm - Rath Mor Centre