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Comedy brings tears of joy, and sadness, to Ardara

The cast of Widows' Paradise.

The cast of Widows’ Paradise.

JUST over a month after the sudden death of one of its key actors, the show certainly did go on at the Ardara GAA clubhouse last weekend.

Rehearsals had been going well for the hilarious play ‘Widows’ Paradise’, in which popular local businessman, Gerard Slowey, had been cast to play the part of ‘Wilfred’.

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However, the architect and community man passed away suddenly on the morning of Saturday, December 17. He was just 59 years-of-age.

Needless to say, the cast and crew were shocked and devastated. The amateur production was thrown into turmoil and was expected to be cancelled.

However, immediately after the funeral, Gerard’s nephew, Stephen Slowey, said he would step in to play the part.

Predeceased by his wife Margaret, Gerard’s children Áine, Mairead and Anthony, said they wanted the play to go ahead, as it would have been what he’d wished.

The show was back on the road.

One of the driving forces behind the play – and the late Mr Slowey’s colleague – Ms Mary McHugh, said it has been a difficult month for them.

But, the show played to three packed houses last weekend.

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“When we decided to do a play last August, I got the script and gave it to Gerard,” she explained.

“He took it home with him, read it and came back to work the next day and said he wanted to play the part of Wilfred, a wealthy business man who had hoards of women running after him.”

Five weeks later and the remaining nine cast members were in place, so rehearsals started in October.

Ms McHugh said Gerard’s death sent shockwaves through the community and the cast and crew were ‘floored’.

For full report, see tomorrow’s Donegal News or subscribe to our digital edition.

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