Eithne Horgan and Ber Madden of Stage It Productions who will be helping Leaving Cert students ace their exams this term.

Bringing Irish history to life

Leaving Cert history students in Cork will have the opportunity to get an edge on their final exams next summer thanks to a Leeside theatre company.

From January, Stage It Productions will be visiting schools throughout Cork city and county with its educational show ‘Staging History', taking students on a journey through key scenes and themes in the Later Modern Irish History Leaving Cert curriculum.

The theatre company is run by Dr Finola Doyle O’Neill, a broadcast and legal historian at UCC’s School of History.

Finola is passionate about history and believes that key moments are more memorable when performed live. She and her actors will perform a rapid journey through Irish history from 1922 to 1993, devised and narrated by Finola herself.

The performance, which is aimed at senior cycle students, is one hour in duration, with a question-and-answer session afterwards.

Finola says the idea for ‘Staging History’ came from the success of a series of speeches by famous female revolutionaries performed live at UCC in front of over 250 senior cycles students. The reaction was so positive that Finola thought it would be an enjoyable and instructive experience for students if scenes from history could be performed on their own school premises, thus avoiding travel costs and also minimising disruption to classes.

The troupe’s actors are from diverse backgrounds, all with day-jobs but united in their love of history. Maria Hurley is a doctor by day and enjoys historical and literary re-enactments by night; Eric Browne is an IT specialist and also performs in a rock band; Eithne Horgan is a former music teacher; and Ber Madden works at UCC and is a veteran of the stage.