Love/Hate actor to perform one-man show in Dundalk

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Áine Kenny

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Áine Kenny

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Love/Hate actor to perform one-man show in Dundalk

Love/Hate actor to perform one-man show in Dundalk

Love/Hate actor to perform one man-show in Dundalk

Stephen Jones, critically acclaimed actor, known for his role as Brian in Love/Hate, is set to take the stage in An Táin Theatre in Dundalk.

He will be performing the play 100 More Like These: The Story of San Patricio on Friday the 9th of February at 8pm. The play takes place during the 1800s and focuses on the Irish soldiers who fought in the American-Mexican War.

Stephen Jones

During the three years of the American-Mexican war (1846-48), some 3000 immigrant soldiers deserted the American Army. More than 500 of these, mainly Irishmen, joined the Mexican side and fought as The San Patricio (St. Patrick's) Battalion. They were led by John Riley from Clifden, Co. Galway.

The play tells the story of the San Patricio Battalion from the point of view of Thomas O'Byrne, who is caught up in the war accidentally while trying to escape arrest. Through his innocent eyes, the audience will get to experience the full horror of these historic events, and the terror that can come with trying to do the right thing. The play's title is taken from a quote attributed to the Mexican leader, General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna: "With a hundred more like these men of Riley's we could have won this war".

The play was written by Larry O'Loughlin specifically for Stephen Jones to perform. “Larry was fascinated by the story of these Irish Heroes of Mexico and he gave me a script to adapt into the one man show it is today,” Stephen explains. “We were both inspired by the brilliant one man show 'Tom Crean: Antarctic Explorer' and so we thought the unsung heroes of our story, The San Patricios, could have a show in the same vain. I have been performing it for nearly 10 years now and its going from strength to strength.”

Stephen says that one-man shows are challenging yet rewarding to perform. “I love it even though it can be daunting. It’s just me and the audience. They are as much a part of the show as I am, and I love the connection that’s made between myself and the public during the performance,” he says. “It’s an incredible and fascinating story so I love getting to tell it to people. I play over 30 characters in the show so it’s a fun challenge to do both vocally and physically,” he adds. “I’m really looking forward to the people of Dundalk coming to see the show. Whether you know about the story or have never heard a word about it, I guarantee an interesting evening at the Táin Theatre.”

This will also be Stephen’s first time performing in Dundalk. “[Louth] is one of the few counties I haven’t performed in and I’ve toured Ireland with a number of shows. One of my big goals, especially with my own company Awake & Sing Productions is to take theatre out of Dublin and bring quality shows to different towns, cities and counties,” he says.

Stephen didn’t always dream of being an actor however, despite all of his recent success. “I always had a huge interest in movies, but I had never been to drama classes as a kid. I was too busy playing football,” Stephen says. “My Leaving Cert English teacher was a well-regarded amateur actor in Dublin and inspired me with his brilliantly performed readings of the plays we were studying. In UCD I became a member of Dramsoc, the Drama Society and spent 4 years there doing plays with friends, many of whom also went on to be professional actors,” he explains.

Stephen says that 100 More Like These is one of many amazing projects he has worked on. “There have been so many wonderful projects I have been part of. One that really stands out was when I worked with Druid Theatre Company under the Direction of Garry Hynes. I performed in 'Druid Murphy: The Plays of Tom Murphy'. To meet one of the world's greatest living playwrights while performing his plays with a world-renowned company was incredible,” he says. “Also, playing Thomas MacDonagh in 'Signatories' in Kilmainham Gaol under the Direction of Patrick Mason for the 1916 Centenary was very special and the play I'm currently in 'Class' means a lot to me, as it’s my first time working at The Abbey Theatre.”

Don’t miss out on Stephen’s stellar performance. Tickets cost €15 for adults and €12 for students or senior citizens, and can be bought at the box office in An Táin or on their website