|Cast members fiddling at the Burren - Shane Lally, Joanne O'Connell,|
Brendan Quirke, Michelle Glynn, Dessy Rushe, Janine Gunning,
Louise Costello, Tommy McCarthy.
Tommy McCarthy, who for years has brought traditional Irish music to Boston and the surrounding areas, has taken on a new endeavor - producer. McCarthy has collaborated with Boston-based dramatist Pete Holm to produce the new play “The Fiddlers of Inishbofin,” a romantic comedy of music rivalry based on a true series of events.
“Fiddlers” follows the story of a troupe of Irish musicians who take the ferry to Galway’s Inishbofin in the dead of winter, for a session and birthday celebration. The festivities are disrupted when musical rivals Fiona, a Dublin-based psychologist, and Liam, an islander and organic farmer, are pitted against each other after Liam almost destroys Fiona’s prized fiddle.
The subsequent repairing of the instrument by Liam causes Fiona to extend her stay on the island. Fiona and Liam put aside their rivalry and the Dublin gal finds herself falling head over heels not only for Liam, but also for the quiet island life. She longs to stay on Inishbofin, but alas, her life and her job are back in Dublin, so she is faced with a choice. Which will she choose?
McCarthy said the play is inspired by a true story of a broken fiddle and a February session on Inishbofin. He turned to Holm to help him devise a script, while McCarthy himself took care of the musical side of things.
“Music has always been my life. Growing up in a musical family and being introduced to actors from my father, like Stephen Rea, Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleason, I was fortunate,” he said. “When I told Brendan recently I had written a play and was acting, he couldn’t have been more encouraging and gave great advice.”
The all-Irish cast, which includes McCarthy in a musician role, is joined by local musicians Louise McCarthy, Tommy’s wife, along with Hugh McGowan, Tom Bianchi and Maureen Medeiros. Irish performer Sean Og will travel from County Clare to appear as well.
All proceeds from “The Fiddlers of Inishbofin” will go to benefit Breast Cancer research. And Ras na hEireann USA, the Somerville road race and lead sponsor of “Fiddlers,” has already committed to donating $10,000 for the cause. McCarthy said he hopes that the musical will match that amount.
“The Fiddlers of Inishbofin” is playing at The Burren Backroom, 147 Elm St., Somerville. Showtimes are: March 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance through www.brownpapertickets.com, or $30 at the door (if available). For more information, call (617) 776-6896.