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by Mary Clark and
Mary Murphy Demers
from the novel by Marita Conlon-McKenna
Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Dr.
Mar. 12-21
778-837-3645 or 

Making History…‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’
A New Musical based on The Great Irish Famine

For the first time ever, the story of Ireland’s Great Famine will be staged in a powerful new musical based on the award-winning children’s novel Under the Hawthorn Tree.  With a haunting score and unforgettable songs this exciting new stage production has an appeal for audiences of all ages.

The tragedy of the Great Irish Famine is told through the O’Driscoll family and their fight to survive in a hunger-ravaged land. With tremendous courage Eily, Michael and Peggy O’Driscoll set out on a journey that will test every reserve of strength and spirit they possess as they cross the country in search of long-lost relatives they know only from their mother’s stories.

Mary Murphy Demers, renowned Canadian singer-songwriter and Irish harpist, came across a copy of Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon-McKenna. Mary read it and passed it on to young playwright Mary Clark. Together they realized the epic story had all the makings of a great musical.

After completing a script and composing a score of Irish-influenced melodies, an open casting call was besieged with talented actors hoping to be part of this exciting new Irish musical. Thirteen local Vancouver actors were eventually chosen to make up the cast, aged from 11 to 73. Clark directs and Murphy Demers musically directs this hugely innovative theatre production.

Conlon-McKenna, author of the international best-seller, has worked alongside Clark and Murphy Demers throughout the script process and will travel from Dublin to attend the premiere at Vancouver’s Havana Theatre.


The show runs March 12-14, 17-21 at the Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive. Shows are at 8 pm with additional matinees at 2 pm on the 14th and 21st. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Tickets can be reserved by calling 778-837-3645 or e-mailing   

For further information, find us on our Facebook page - "Under The Hawthorn Tree: A New Musical" - and be a part of history.

Drama based on Under The Hawthorn Tree © Marita Conlon-McKenna.
Published by The O'Brien Press Ltd., Dublin.