Legendary radio series returns online

Centre Stage Theatre Company in association with The Portico of Ards, Portaferry has announced a live stream of two classic episodes from the legendary radio series The McCooeys.

By Julie-Ann Spence
Friday, 12th February 2021, 8:57 am
Joseph Tomelty
Joseph Tomelty

The popular, much loved, long-running radio series, by renowned actor, novelist, playwright, theatre manager and Portaferry native Joseph Tomelty, focussed on the lives of a working-class Belfast family.

Adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines, the ‘radio play style’ performances will be streamed online with six leading Northern Irish actors on the Portico stage.

As part of a special online experience NI care homes will have access to an exclusive live stream on March 17. Meanwhile, a general audience live stream will be accessible on March 20, with the live recording available online until March 27.

Hannah Carnegie. Pic by Chris McLenghan

The McCooeys project was originally planned to take place in June 2020 to mark the 25th Anniversary of Joseph Tomelty’s death but was postponed due to the impact of the pandemic and the sudden passing of Joseph’s daughter, acclaimed Northern Ireland stage and screen actor, director, producer and artistic director of Centre Stage Theatre Company, Roma Tomelty.

The lives of The McCooeys, their relatives, friends and neighbours were followed closely by hundreds of thousands of listeners across Northern Ireland between 1949 and 1955. Every Saturday night people tuned in to listen to the ups and downs of Granda, Maggie, Sammy, Aunt Sarah, Willy, Meta, Sally and others. Today, many still recall sitting around the radio listening to the hugely popular production on the BBC Northern Ireland Home Service.

Directed by former BBC Radio Drama producer Michael Quinn, The McCooeys will feature the acting talents of Maria Connolly, Christina Nelson, Patrick McBrearty, Hannah Carnegie (Joseph Tomelty’s granddaughter and Roma Tomelty’s daughter), Colin Carnegie and Dan Gordon. Audiences will be transported to a radio studio where they will enjoy watching the inner workings of a radio play including the creation of sound effects.

For further information and to book tickets, priced £10, visit www.porticoards.com.