Black Lead is a new two-act play by local playwright Eamonn Colfer, whose previous plays were described as 'an ongoing theatrical exploration of various forms of control – be it personal, political or otherwise.' (Wexford People, August 2018). Black Lead was the name given to a man who roamed the back roads, towns and fairs of Wexford for roughly thirty years after the First World War. Historian Nicky Furlong, in his book Wexford in the Rare Old Times, writes: 'Of all the mysteries that Co. Wexford has thrown up or absorbed and of all the strange wandering characters that it nourished none compared with Black Lead. He had an immense beard and whatever the reason, he covered himself, his clothes and bag in the substance that gave him his name – black lead. No-one ever knew his identity, surname or Christian name, and something in his demeanour forbade trespass.'
This play is an imagining of what might have happened to any individual who trespassed on Black Lead’s desire for privacy. It tells of a formative encounter between Black Lead and J, another itinerant, fresh from begging on the continent. The role of J is played by Gary Lydon, who started his career in the first production Billy Roche's play, A Handful of Stars. Gary played Patrick in The Clinic for many years and has appeared in many Irish films including The Guard, Calvary as well as Warhorse, directed by Stephen Spielberg. Black Lead is played by John Crosbie, who also featured, along with Gary, in the first production of A Handful of Stars. He has acted in hundreds of plays since, winning several best actor awards on the All-Ireland circuit.
Wednesday 6 February, Preview 8pm (tickets €12);
Thursday 7 February, Opening Night 8pm (tickets €15);
Friday 8 February, 8pm (tickets €15);
Saturday 9 February, 8pm (tickets €15);
Sunday 10 February 3pm & 8pm (tickets €15).