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A worthy tribute to Kate

By Ciara Quinn

SET against the backdrop of Robert Emmet’s 1803 Irish Rebellion, Betrothed – written by the late theatre pioneer Kate Muldoon – will make its debut on the Grand Opera House stage in November.
Chronicling the story of one of the most remarkable love triangles in Irish history, Kate’s work was completed shortly after the North Belfast woman passed away during Christmas 2016.
Starring as Emmet’s love Sarah Curran, Katie Tumelty described Kate’s writing as conveying a “powerful love story, a beautiful piece of writing that really captures an era in time”.
Directed by A Night In November’s Matthew McElhinney, Katie said she knew from the off “that I was going to do the piece”.
“Matthew and I have a really good shorthand and work really well together,” she said. “We worked together recently on Archie In Manhattan and this is the first time he’s directed me. I really trust him and the cast can see how his mind works as a director.”
Known for her comedic roles, Katie spoke of how it was great to sink her teeth into a dramatic role. “This is a real love story of a middle class Protestant who falls in love with an Irish rebel – and we’ll leave it there,” she laughed.
“I don’t want to give too much away. Myself and fellow actor Maria Connolly are on stage the whole time, linking the threads if you like. It is such a lovely piece of writing by Kate.
“Kate’s son Sean, one of the forces behind the Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, will be offering an Irish coffee before the show courtesy of the bar as well. It is a very limited run, just over two nights, but it’s wonderful that audiences will be able to see Kate’s final work.”
The piece, produced by GBL Productions’ Briege Lynch, is an emotional one for all involved as Briege said she knew Kate since she was four.
“I’m very honoured to have Betrothed as my first producing credit,” she said. “I’ve known and loved Kate since I was four running in and out of the Community Arts Forum offices as a young child where my dad, Martin, was director and Kate was the administrator. I probably got under her feet a lot but she was always so kind and caring and would sneak me treats. I’m sad that she isn’t here to bask in the glory of getting this writing from the page to the stage.”
Betrothed by Kate Muldoon runs at the Grand Opera House in the Baby Grand from November 15 and 16. For ticket information visit

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