The dust has settled, the stage and set have been dismantled, life has returned to normal but for two unforgettable nights, UCC’s most famous space was transformed into an evocative paddle boat steamer setting.
The purpose was to create an authentic and immersive experience for those fortunate enough to attend the sold out performances of Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Nile”. The idea was the brainchild of the UCC Players and was orchestrated by the creative directing and production team of Karen Ray, Jim O’Mahony and Brenda Lynch.
From the first minute, audience members were greeted with palm trees, hostesses and a personal greeting from the Captain before the 3 Act play unfolded in typical Agatha Christie style. All audience members returned safely to shore which is more than can be said for some of the characters on stage who became victims of foul play. Like all good “whodunnits” the villains were exposed as the audience tried to unravel the clues and motives for murder.
The success of the play and the production was down to the very hard working cast, directors and production team as well as the numerous support staff on campus. Particular thanks goes to John Murphy in General Services for allowing us transform the Aula into our personal playground for a few days and who was on hand to cater for all requests with such goodwill and positivity; JP Quinn who never hesitated to go above and beyond to help, along with all his staff in the UCC Visitor Centre; Breda Good & Áine Murphy in Room Bookings for their patience and kindness in dealing with our frequent queries; Aidan O’Dwyer in Buildings and Estates for his help and advice for our set up in the Aula; Kevin Barrett in the Staff Common Room for always being so good natured and willing to assist us; and Ann Byrne in the Boole Library who was so kind in providing us with screens to complete our set. There have been so many people who have helped along the way and for which we are truly grateful.
Within The UCC Players, apart from those aboard The Lotus, there has been enormous and invaluable help, including that from Terry Brennan who took such great control in facilitating the staging and finance; Bríd Drake who has been a voice of reason and support from the beginning; Deirdre Kearney for kindly helping with the set installation; Mike Cronin for so generously sourcing beautiful props and stage pieces; Finola Doyle O' Neill and Dolores Dermody for their enthusiastic support and advice; and John McCaffrey for supplying us with the deadly weapon.
A very big thank you to Atkins Garden World for so generously lending the beautiful greenery which helped create the exotic setting.
We also wish to express our appreciation to our wonderful cameraman, Conor Rowlands, who photographed such moments during rehearsals and on the nights, along with John O'Mullane who so generously captured the event on film for posterity.
This grand voyage on the Nile would have not have even set sail without the never-ending patience, encouragement and support from our wonderful families, friends and colleagues. To them we can only attempt to find enough words to express our gratitude.
Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and boarded The Lotus with us. We hope it was a thrilling and enjoyable journey.
Until the next one,
Very best wishes from Jim, Karen, Brenda, and all the UCC Players.