Date: Saturday, 6th May 2017
Place: Upstairs @ The Forge, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Organisers: Moycullen Historical Society
Admission: €8.00 – Tickets available from The Forge or by phoning 087 4364699
The play, written by, and featuring, Sean Leonard, is in two acts of 40 minutes each. A full bar service will be available during the 20 minute interval between acts.
Humanity Dick: A Tale of Beasts and Bullets, premiered at last year’s Galway Fringe Festival, and was a sell-out success for all five nights of its run. To cater for demand, which increased by word-of-mouth as the run progressed, the show was moved from its original location at Busker Browne’s to the well-known Quays venue for its final two nights.
It was universally well-received by both locals and visitors alike (with many standing ovations) and praised for being entertaining, engaging, funny and informative.
The play tells the true and largely-unknown story of Irishman Richard Martin, who was not only the most famous duellist of the late 18th century, but also went on to become the worldwide father of animal protection legislation, as well as the driving force behind the foundation of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His former reputation lent him the name “Hairtrigger Dick”; the latter saw him christened “Humanity Dick”.
But Martin was also many other things: Landlord of Connemara; practising lawyer; theatre proprietor; bankrupt; exile; witness to the outbreak of both the American and French Revolutions; and even a most unfortunate cuckold (his wife famously had an affair with a young Theobald Wolfe Tone).
Although feared and jeered in equal measure, Martin held his honour and the welfare of animals above all else, no matter the cost – and it is these two principles that define his tale.
As Martin, Sean Leonard recounts and acts out scenes from a life of deadly duels, regular revolutions, contrary cousins, wayward wives, financial failure, parliamentary persistence and, famously, a donkey in a courthouse.
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