Little Gem 16 - 30 November 2013

Little Gem by Elaine Murphy.   Directed by Des Smith

SEASON:  16 - 30 November 2013

The story of three generations of women in one extraordinary year in Dublin - today.  



Amber - by Jessica Walsh

Lorraine, her mother - by Kirsty Hamilton

Kay, her grandmother - by Orla McNeaney

Review from last week: 

I cam to Little Gem last night and just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the production. The individual actors were well cast and did a great job bringing their characters to life. By the end of the show I felt like I knew them well. I was impressed with the skills they brought to their roles and the role personalities that came through so strongly.The actors had me laughing and in tears.I commend the director for the vision in the way the show was presented. The set was minimalist but very effective.This is the first time I have been to one of your productions but certainly not my last!


Little Gem is an award winning play written by Dublin playwright Elaine Murphy and was first produced by Guna Nua at Dublin’s 2008 Fringe Festival. It has been in continuous production since its debut. Three generations of Irish women: daughter, mother, grandmother, tell the story of one year in their lives, each from their own perspective. The stories are full of humour and pathos.

“This is a play that makes you feel better about life when you leave the theatre than you did when you entered.”

A true “gem” of a play: funny, moving and unusual.

 Above is a REHEARSAL photo. Orla McNeaney, Kirsty Hamilton and Jess Walsh. 

Below from Des Smith, Director:

I haven't managed to read it without belly laughing or getting a lump in my throat, sometimes at the same time which is an unusual feeling I can tell you.  

The CREW for Little Gem 

Director - Des Smith

Production Manager - Sherry Ede

Director's Assistant - Joan Miller

Set Design - David Blakey

Lighting Design - Scott Thomas

Lighting and Sound Operation - Sean Miller

Sound Design - Terry Smith 

Set Construction - Phil Davis, John Sala, Richard Parmee, Tony Sandy

FOH Manager - Sherry Ede

Stage Manager - Jonathan Wilce

Wardrobe/Make Up - Cathie Sandy/Annemarie Connors

Bar Manager - Alastair Fletcher

Programme and Photos - Sherry Ede



From Des Smith, Director, on the final night.  (Copied here so that it goes into our archive memories.) 

Des wrote: "So it's nearly time to say goodbye to Little Gem. A truly extraordinary play. 

I have seen people visibly change across a performances such as an elderly couple sat in front of me one night doing that elderly bickering thing before the play started and then cuddled up in each others arms by the end. 

I saw people suddenly understand how important it is not just to appreciate what you have but tell people that you care like the young fella that said after the curtain closed closed one night, "I'm going straight home to ring my mum and tell her I love her." 

My own personal favourite where was when I held the hand of a friend, as amongst the laughter we shed a few tears as she relived a sad personal experience similar to one of the main characters.

I am sure there will be lots of thank yous and back slapping and wine and such shenanigans tonight at least I hope so, but just here and now to say thank you to Sherry, Kathy, Richard and the committee for all the great support and for letting me direct this play at Company Theatre. 

David  for once again getting into my head and executing to precision what that set needed to be, barely there until it needed to be but yet 100% right for the whole show.

Terry, Scott and Sean for definitely the trickiest and most complex light and sound design I have thrown at anyone to date that no one will ever speak about because it disappears in the mind and acts as a complimentary frame not the picture.

Jonathan and the backstage crew for not having a lot to do but doing that bit that had to be done in less than 10 seconds which few thought possible, could have been total chaos backstage for all I know but it looked pretty damn slick from out front.

Annamarie for quite literally coming to the rescue at the death and putting in place not just the first piece of the jigsaw but the last as well. Forever grateful. 

And Joan, what would I do without you, thank you once again for once again keeping me sane & coffeed and every now and again giving just that calm word of assurance when I needed it.

And lastly to 3 extraordinary actresses,, Jessica, Kirsty & Orla,,, I think there have been a lot of superlatives from many quarters directed at you all but for me what you did was make people forget it was a play, much less a play of monologues,,, the audiences laughed with you and cried with you and held their collective breath in silence hanging on your words,,, for a moment in time they believed. You gave people a theatrical experience second to none.

Have a wonderful closing night everyone. 




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