Mallow based Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) drama group ‘A Pot of Spuds’ have won the Community Care Services Healthcare Initiative/Project Award at this year’s Irish Healthcare Centre Awards.
Starting with weekly role plays, the group began exploring their individual creativity and, following a successful performance of an existing one act play in the Gilbert Centre in Mallow, created their own script for the original play ‘A Pot of Spuds’.
‘A Pot of Spuds’ is set in rural Ireland and opens with the death of a widowed farmer Jackie Andy Dan Mary Batt aka “Dadda”. His family, which includes nine children and “Granny” return home for his funeral. However, as they arrive expecting a traditional Irish wake the plot thickens. One by one, each of the family members is killed. The play delivers a laugh out loud murder mystery, which accurately depicts the wonderful nuances of 1950's rural Ireland.
The group launched their production in November 2018 in collaboration with transition year students from St. Mary’s Secondary School Mallow and grant support from Cork County Council. The production ran in the Aemilian Theatre in Mallow in November 2018 and its success saw it shortlisted for the Irish Healthcare Centre Award.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan commented:
“I am delighted for the Irish Wheelchair Association Mallow drama group and extend my heartfelt congratulations for their victory. Community arts projects are hugely important both for the individuals involved and for the towns and villages they live in. Cork County Council is proud to support such initiatives. To be able to support a national award winning initiative is a huge privilege. Cork County Council will continue to support the innovative and creative community groups of Cork County.”
Margaret O’ Connor, Service Manager, Irish Wheelchair Association, said:
“A Pot of Spuds” was a hugely positive experience and I am astounded at the increase in confidence I see in our members. They really took complete ownership of the play right from the very beginning all the way to the Healthcare Centre Awards. I have never seen our members so committed to a project before.”
“I believe the partnership approach we took with transition year students and other drama group members allowed everyone to learn together while also raising disability awareness within the community. But most importantly working on the play brought everyone closer together, creating a real sense of community which they continue to demonstrate on an ongoing basis. This award is recognition of the importance of supporting the creative process.”