The Moon Cut Like a Sickle

Written by Ken Armstrong
Directed by Óran O'Rua
Performed in Mill Theatre Studio 15 - 19 April 2008 and Cabinteely Park 17 May 2008

Young Balally Players

Boy-racing indoors in Dundrum and out in Cabinteely Park

Director Óran O'Rua brought a play that was just a few years old to the Mill Theatre Studio space in April 2008 with a group of young actors that had been recently formed within Balally Players. The play was 'The Moon Cut Like A Sickle' by Ken Armstrong. The drama was written for a teenage cast and is centred around the theme of so-called 'boy-racing'. The dialogue is fast paced and the writing gives ample scope to tap into the energy and drive of an enthusiastic group of young players. That's exactly what Óran assembled. The production opened in the Mill Theatre Studio at 8pm on Tuesday 15 April and ran until Saturday 19 April. There was a second chance to see it, this time, outdoors with extracts from the summer Shakespeare production for 2008, 'As You Like It', in Cabinteely Park on Saturday 17 May.

The Tom Waits song 'Romeo is Bleeding' has a line that gives not only the title of the play, but also commentary on the way a gang divides into watchers and doers, before and after the inevitable tragic consequence of its dangerous bravado is acted out "... and they all try to stand like Romeo beneath the moon cut like a sickle ..."




The cast pictured on the poster are:

Front: Niamh Holland, Rachel Fitzpatrick, Laura Byrne and Amy Morrison.

Back: Séamus Neeson, Shane Murphy, Fionn Staines, Tomás Hoyne and Matt Powell.

Click here to open a copy of the poster in PDF format.





The play first came to the attention of Balally Players last summer when some members of the group participated in rehearsed readings as part of the The Drama League of Ireland (DLI) organised ‘New Irish Writing’ programme. The playwright Ken Armstrong, who lives and works in Castlebar, Co Mayo was one of four writers who reached the final workshops in that programme.

Amy Morrison (Lisa)
Matt Powell (Ratchett)
Niamh Holland (Daisy)
Tomás Hoyne (Darko)
Fionn Staines (Joe)
Cast & Director
Séamus Neeson (Terry)
Laura Byrne (Madge)
Shane Murphy (Louie)
Rachel Fitzpatrick (Des)
Óran O'Rua (Director)
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The cast of 'The Moon Cut Like A Sickle' and their Director. This image was featured in the programme, which you can view or download in PDF format (1.7MB).

Ken and Oran


Writer Ken Armstrong (left) attended a performance of the play in the Mill Theatre Studio on Thursday 18 April. He complimented Director Óran O'Rua (right) on the production and said that he thoroughly enjoyed the evening.


Ken Armstrong particularly enjoyed how the characters he had created were played by the cast and was fascinated to see some new aspects portrayed in the roles.

Cast and Crew

Cast of 'The Moon Cut Like A Sickle' before one of the performances in the Mill Theatre Studio with crew members Ciara and Doris (left) and director Óran (right).

BackstageCiara and the 'cars'
Backstage'Curtain Call' at the Mill Theatre Studio
BackstageDoris and Shane - suffering for his art!
BackstageFionn, Matt and Niamh
BackstageHilary (lighting) and Declan (sound)
BackstageHilary (lighting) and Patrick (stage management)
BackstageKen, Hilary, Óran and Doris (seated)
BackstageRachel, Laura, Niamh and Amy
Original cast with Young Balally PlayersOriginal cast with Young Balally Players

The cast of the original production of 'The Moon Cut Like A Sickle' travelled from Castlebar with writer Ken Armstrong to see the play and meet the cast and crew on Thursday 18 April. The play was first performed by 'Do You Playhouse' in their native Castlebar, as well as in Sligo's Hawkswell Theatre. The theatre group is for young people aged 13 to18 and was founded by Oisín Heraghty and Donna Ruane in 2003.

BackstageYoung Balally Players meeting the cast of the original production
Young Balally Players meeting the cast of the original production

The play and the issue of 'boy racing' were featured on Dublin City FM (103.2) on Wednesday 16 April 2008 during the 'Good Morning Dublin' show. The ten minute piece by Declan Brennan included interviews with Director Óran O'Rua and Chairman Geoffrey O'Keeffe as well as two short extracts from the play recorded at rehearsals. To listen to a compressed MP3 copy of the broadcast using the default media player on your computer, click on this link_to_the_broadcast. To download a copy, right-click on the link and select 'Save Link As' or 'Save Target As'. The file size is 1.6MB.

Dundrum Gazette article

The play was also featured in an article in the Dundrum Gazette under the headline 'Racing to tackle a problem'. To see what was written and the pictures that were published, click on this link_to_the_article. To download a copy, right-click on the link and select 'Save Link As' or 'Save Target As'. The file size is 266KB.

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