Aisteoirí Muinchille (The Cootehill Players) of County Cavan in association with Declan Gorman Arts & Events, present “The Pilgrims of Slieve” an original online play devised and written by the cast of 11, guided and directed by Declan Gorman. For those who have not yet booked, the show is available to view for one week only, starting March 26th, using this Eventbrite link (which opens in a new tab).Tickets are €10.00 per household.

Your ticket allows you to watch it as many times as you wish within the week – and also to stop/start it if you wish. The play was written, performed and filmed by 12 people over several months of weekly Zoom meetings, in 12 separate domestic homes, during a Lockdown when meeting in person was not possible!!! A summary of what is is about is further below….


Watching a 90-minute online play is very different to just flopping down to watch a TV show.

Here are 10 top tips to make the most of your Ten Euro Ticket.

We recommend that you:


1. “Arrive on time and ready”:  Don’t find yourself running around after the play starts, looking for speaker cables or whatever.  Once you sit down, sit down!

2. Watch on a laptop rather than a phone.  (You can also watch on a Smart TV, but the medium scale of the laptop gives the best picture).

3. Arrange the viewing room so you can sit comfortably in front of the laptop.

4. Dim the lighting in the viewing room, even if you don’t normally do this for TV.  This is theatre, not television.

5. Use external speakers, if you have them!  Sound is important.  The better the speakers, the better the experience.


7. You might like to pour yourself a drink: maybe even indulge in a box of chocolates!  But have it all ready in advance.  Don’t be getting up mid-way through to go to the fridge or the loo.

8. Think of anything else that might disturb your viewing, and do your best to deal with it beforehand: the barking dog; the roasting dinner; the children’s bedtime.  We know that every home has its own circumstances and some interruptions are inevitable. YOU know what is best in your “home theatre”!

9. You are invited to download the show programme and read about the actors and even have to hand a running order of scenes (Use the link at the very bottom of this page)

10. ONE FINAL INSIDER TIP! You can (and preferably should) watch the full 90 minute drama in one sitting.  But if you really need to step away, you can of course pause it after 35 minutes (End of Act 1) or 70 minutes (End of Act 2)!

Are you someone who likes to know what you are getting for your dollar?

You can (if you really wish) read the short plot summary below:


Morning breaks in the town of Slieve, County Cavan.  The local radio reminds us that popular singing star Donal O’Dea will play the Emerald Hotel in the town tonight.  They also ask people to submit self-tapes, recording their “Day in the Life of County Cavan” for an arts/heritage project.

One by one, various people submit – or think about submitting – their stories.  And many are initially quite sad.  A comic scene unfolds at the local Court House – suggesting a quaint, archaic village, but quickly we learn this a contemporary town that includes lots of people labouring under modern pressures.  A young yoga teacher who seems to have it all in front of her defines her life as empty of meaning; an older man recalls the death of his son a year ago and is distressed that the son had a humanist funeral having rejected God and religion.  One by one the residents of Slieve (and one returning emigrant) describe lives and circumstances that seem on the face of it troubled. But there are also comic moments and a sense that change for the better may be coming. 

As morning turns to afternoon, some of the more unhappy people of Slieve begin to confront their demons – or else have them confronted by others.  An angry dentist gets a call from her bank that forces her to face her financial indebtedness; a snippy and unpleasant dressmaker reveals the source of her years of anger.  Friends and neighbours connect and affirm one another.  But then a grand disaster – or perhaps a farce – strikes the hotel where the legendary Donal O’Dea is due to play.

In the final Evening act, solutions are sought to the immediate issue of the cancelled concert.  A community comes together – willingly and reluctantly – somehow drawn by the plight of a charismatic star.  A strange magic comes into play, as a group of unhappy individuals strives to gel and form into a like-minded and hopeful community.

All  along the way, there are hilarious, comic scenes; interludes of poetic speaking; surprising visual and choreographed effects; bittersweet music and an increasing sense that at the end of every dark night there is a bright day ahead. 

As one commentator on Twitter put it: “(this is) … tragi-comedy; a mirror of the real world; a heart-warming celebration of small town life and of the human spirit”.


To read my blog essay about the theory behind all this “The Audience Prepares” fun and games, click here.