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Fly Me To The Moon comes home to roost at the Grand Opera House

Actress Katie Tumelty will be reprising her role of Frances in the production Actress Katie Tumelty will be reprising her role of Frances in the production
By Ciara Quinn

DAYS into 2019 and already rehearsal readings are under way at the Grand Opera House stage for the eagerly anticipated revival of Marie Jones’ Fly Me To The Moon.
Having had its debut back in the Baby Grand in 2012 the play, a dark cautionary tale about recession, underpaid and undervalued care workers and greed, will be performed on the main stage with West Belfast actress Katie Tumelty and Abigail McGibbon.
The scene is set when characters Frances and Loretta visit the home of one of their elderly charges, Davy McGee, who has had a significant win on the horses. Not initially aware of his good fortune, the two cash-strapped women learn that their patient won’t be around for long and are then faced with a moral dilemma of should they or shouldn’t they…?
Long time Marie Jones collaborator Katie Tumelty told Daily Belfast how the play has a “universal voice” in its themes that are as prevalent today as when the play was first performed back in 2012.
“This play deals with the working woman, in this case two care workers who are running to and from the people that they care for on a daily basis,” she said. “Their work is invaluable to so many families but in the cases of Frances and Loretta there is more going on behind the scenes. Marie’s play deals with poverty, death and dilemma but at the same time has so much humour running throughout it.
“Both characters are hard workers, they have stresses in work, stresses at home and they are just trying to make ends meet and get through their working day. I play the character of Frances who looks at the same sky as everyone else every morning, has hopes, aspirations and it’s like many people if the situation arises – what to do if a small amount of money, should it be £60 or £100, comes their way, do they take it?
“What starts out as a tiny grain of sand soon becomes an avalanche for the two women to deal with. The piece is Marie at her finest,” she added.
Katie continued: “Everybody knows a Frances or a Loretta, they are going in and out of hundreds of home every day to help those in their care. I remember so many times being stopped in the Kennedy Centre with people saying that the show should be on prescription, that Marie should be getting her wages through the NHS such is the tonic the show has proven to be.”
Fly Me To The Moon and its message have been welcomed around the world on stages in New York, Canada, Sweden and most recently Iceland.
“For this run I’m performing with Abigail McGibbon and it’s like a homecoming for her as she performed the part back at the start. It’s great to be bringing the show to the Grand Opera House main auditorium for the week and we will be touring down south once the curtain comes down on the 26.
“There is no doubt that those coming to see it will leave with a message and huge laughs in what is a very current, relevant piece of theatre.”

Fly Me To The Moon will be performed at the Grand Opera House from January 21 to 26. For ticket information visit

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