Derry playwright Brian Foster says he is delighted at the reception his play A Miracle in Donegal received from audiences in both Derry and Letterkenny last week. Not to mention the rave reviews it received from newspaper critics.

Foster, who also directed the play, said: “In all honesty, I’m stunned at how well it’s gone down. Not since my play Maire - a Woman of Derry have I seen audience reactions like that to one of my productions. Every night for the six night run they were instantly up on their feet at the end to give a noisy, rousing, standing ovation. They cheered and stamped their feet. Some even wept with sheer joy and exhilaration. It was quite overwhelming. Naturally, all concerned, the cast, technicians and myself are on an incredible high that we were able to bring so much enjoyment to so many people.”

Indeed, such was the play’s reception, that Brian is now having to review his plans for the next couple of years. With A Miracle in Donegal now high on the prolific playwright’s agenda for a return in autumn of 2019.

The playwright said: “It’s thrown all my plans up in the air. Next year, I am putting together an Irish tour for a new adaptation of my one woman play, Maire – a Woman of Derry, with it possibly running as a Millennium Forum production. I have extensively re-written and improved the story, which is now set in Dublin instead of Derry.

"That said, a good 80% of the old play remains intact, with 20% new stuff. This new version, now re-titled Myra’s Story, has already been playing and picking up awards in Canada for the past few years. In 2016 the Canadians took their production down to New York where Myra’s Story won the coveted ‘Best Tragedy Award’ at the world famous United Solo Festival, the biggest and most prestigious festival of one-person plays held anywhere in the world.

"So, just to clarify, that’s 2018 for the Irish premiere of Myra’s Story and, with the success of A Miracle in Donegal, I will bring it back in November 2019.”

Facebook fever

One of the main sources of feedback for Brian’s plays is his Facebook page where he has nearly 5000 friends. And it was from there that he received comments about A Miracle in Donegal such as this from Catherine Maria Kelly … “Fabulous show. A really great night out.”

And what about this from Debbie Doherty? “Brian, huge congratulations on your fantastic show. I never laughed so much in my life. Without a doubt the best play I've ever been to. That includes the West end of London i.e Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables etc. We laughed and cried and stomped our feet. Thank you so much for a wonderful production. Everyone loved it from start to finish.” And this from Eddie Dobbins … “Great show! Wife said it was good enough for Broadway. She’s from New York. Singing great. First class. Well done u.”

Last word

The last word to Foster: “I have to give a wee mention to 15 year-old Derry girl Ashton Murphy, who made her drama stage debut in A Miracle in Donegal playing Katie Mc Daid, the young girl who claims visions of The Blessed Virgin. She has both the looks and voice of an angel. Audiences adored her. And I confidently predict that Derry has seen the birth of a shining new star. But I can’t finish without commending the other members of my cast, Eoghan Mc Bride, Kathy Deehan, Martin Bradley and Shaunsy Coyle. And two backstage heroes, Sarah Mc Callion and Bill Waters. They were collectively brilliant. This play has been a fantastic experience for us all, and I’m particularly chuffed that it serves to raise the bar that bit higher for the quality of local theatre. I hope those who saw A Miracle in Donegal will come back to see it again in 2019, and those who have been contacting me telling me they missed it this time round, and when was I bringing it back, will take note.  It’s been a blast folks! Thank you.”

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