Castle Gillian tells the story of Gill Morris, a young Irishman profoundly damaged by his experiences in the Second World War who must regain his faith in love, and the world, in order to save his ancestral home – and once famous Irish racing stable, Castle Gillian.

It is 1948. At the beginning of the story, Gill has lost all faith in humanity. Creditors plan to foreclose on his home, his father is befuddled with drink, and his wealthy childhood sweetheart Sylvia – heartbroken at his apparent indifference – breaks off their engagement. The only hope of saving Castle Gillian is if his younger sister Mary marries Garrett Ward, a known bully and womaniser.

test caption

This new musical, Castle Gillian: An Irish Tale is based on the novel by Maurice
Walsh (21 April 1879 – 18 February 1964). Walsh remains one of Ireland’s most
beloved novelists and most accomplished storytellers. To many, including Ernest
Hemingway (1899-1961), he was the greatest storyteller of his time.

For all of Walsh’s fame as an author during the 1930s-40s, all of his novels are now
out-of-print. Nevertheless, second-hand online booksellers know that they remain
popular with readers of all generations for their quintessential Irish charm.
Remarkably, only four of the twenty or so novels and collections of short stories by
Walsh are set in Ireland. Published in 1948, Castle Gillian is referred to as the 3rd. of
the four Ireland novels written by the author; the other three being, The Road To
Nowhere
(1934), Green Rushes (1935) and A Strange Woman’s Daughter (1954).

Maurice Walsh is probably best known today by filmgoers for the film adaptation of
his short story The Quiet Man – from the separately connected short stories that
make up the novel, Green Rushes (1935).  The Quiet Man was made into an Oscar-
winning movie in 1952 directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen
O’Hara. American film director, Martin Scorsese, believes Ford’s classic film “…is
one of the greatest movies of all time.” Interviewed for a documentary celebrating the
60 th anniversary of the film in 2012, the director was insistent, “It’s not a movie. It is a
story and a work of art and a work of poetry and very unique and beautiful.”

Castle Gillian as a story is particularly special. The story’s themes of enduring
courage in the face of unrelenting adversity, the strength of its central women
characters; the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in returned
veterans and the sympathetic portrayal of Irish travellers makes for a family drama
that is utterly compelling to follow as it unfolds – and, with an ending that no-one will
see coming.
We hope you enjoy our musical stage adaptation of Castle Gillian.

Watch the trailer