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New Offaly musical play set for first performances in Tullamore next week

June 28, 2024
Black and white picture of hands stacking turf

Croí, a new musical play written by Offaly artists Cormac and Lorraine Reilly, will be staged for the first time in the Esker Arts Centre, Tullamore, next Thursday and Friday, June 27 and 28, at 8pm.

The writers are from the Edenderry/Rhode area and Croí tells a fictional story dealing with universal themes of love, grief and family drama set in North Offaly, around Croghan Hill.

The play includes twelve original new songs, including new folk songs about the area.

It's described as "a celebration of the unique heritage, culture, landscape and history of Offaly and its people set against the backdrop of a love story, family drama and grief, featuring ancient pagan traditions around death".

Croí has been several years in the making. Cormac and Lorraine Reilly began working on it some years ago with the ambition of writing an original musical play about the place in which they live, celebrating and reflecting the cultures and traditions of the area, the bog landscape, archaeological and historical heritage and mythology.

In 2023, they received a semi-finalist award for their original song Mo Chroí Ochón, which features in Croí, from the International Songwriting Competition (Nashville). They also earned highly commended and commended awards for six original songs from the UK Songwriting Competition, held in association with the Brit Awards.

Tullamore's Colin Hughes is directing the play and brings a wealth of experience and artistry to the very first staging of Croí, while the talented cast includes members from Offaly, Roscommon, Westmeath, Dublin, Kildare and Galway.

The staging of Croí received support from Creative Ireland, Offaly County Council’s Heritage Section and Arts Office, Creative Places Edenderry, and SSE Renewables (Yellow River Wind Farm Construction Fund).

Originally published by Offaly Express