Following its previous and highly acclaimed collaborations on Blackwater Angel by Jim Nolan (2014) and Wife to James Whelan by Teresa Deevy (2016), Garter Lane Arts Centre and WIT return to the stage in November with the first production in eight decades of Mount Prospect by Una Troy.
Premiered at the Abbey Theatre in 1940 and adapted from the novel of the same name, Mount Prospect reveals the character of a destructive widow who uses her husband’s will to advance her own son over two children from his first marriage. A savage critique of class prejudice and the position of unmarried women in 1940’s Ireland, Mount Prospect will be directed by Arts Council Theatre Artist in Residence at Garter Lane, Jim Nolan, with Set, Sound and Graphic Design from students of the School of Humanities at WIT.
Una Troy was born in 1910 in Fermoy, Co Cork. She began her writing career under the name of Elizabeth Connor, and her novels from this period are Mount Prospect (1936) which was banned in Ireland; and Dead Star’s Light (Methuen, 1938). In 1940 she adapted Mount Prospect for the stage, winning the Shaw Prize from the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, where it was successfully produced. She continued to write for the Abbey Theatre, producing three more plays: Swans and Geese (1941), Apple A Day (1942), and Dark Road (1947). Her novel We Are Seven was adapted as the film She Didn’t Say No and premiered in 1958. The film, with Waterford’s Anna Manahan in the leading role was England’s official entry in the Brussels World Film Festival and was banned in Ireland. Beginning in the mid-fifties she published all her work as Una Troy, producing fifteen novels, published in both London and America.
Although born in Fermoy, Una Troy has strong Waterford connections. The family summered for many years in Bonmahon, where Una met Dr. Joseph C. Walsh whom she married in 1931. Following Dr. Walsh’s death in 1969, Una moved to the summer home in Bonmahon, living there until her death in 1993.