The time has arrived!
It’s 11.00am and the Ulster Street is beginning to buzz.The cast of Ticket for Titanic are now in costume and furtively scanning their scripts.Yes, everything is fine - No, Geoff Heaver did not secretly add any new lines in the middle of the night…!!High Noon arrives and all the preparation, the sweat and the tears are now brought to fruition.
Our very first performance (another 17 will follow over the next 4 days), is acted out and yes, 15 minutes later rapturous applause; job well done..!!
To add to the occasion we were very privileged to have in the audience at our 3.00pm performance, a lady 86 years young by the name of Mary-Kate.Who’s Mary-Kate? Mary-Kate just happens to be the daughter of Mary McGovern, one of the actual Titanic survivors and the main character in our re-enactment, that’s who!
So a great climax to a great opening day of the Ticket for Titanic production.Fingers crossed the weather will hold up and we can bring a wee bit of enjoyment and a bit of nostalgia to our visitors over the next few days……
More about Mary…
Mary McGovern was born in 1890 in County Cavan. Her older brothers Patrick and John emigrated to America.
By 1912, Mary decided to join them. Her brothers sent her the £7 fare to pay for her journey from Cavan to New York. She travelled by steam train to Queenstown (now Cobh) in County Cork. On the 11th April, she boarded R.M.S. Titanic.
Mary survived the disaster. In an interview with The Sunday Press newspaper in 1952, she recalled, ‘We were shoved into the last of the lifeboats to leave, had to watch the drowning men being beaten with oars to prevent them overturning the boat we were in, watched the lights go out one by one in the huge ship which was sliding to her grave on the starlit night’.
Mary stayed in New York for eight years, working as a housekeeper. She sailed back to Ireland in 1920, returning to County Cavan. She married Peter McGovern, and had two children, Hugh and Mary-Kate. Mary died in 1957, aged 66. Her descendants still live in Ulster.
Below is a photograph of Mary McGovern, courtesy of Bob Bracken.
Ticket for Titanic Re-enactment Director Geoff Heaver ensuring all goes to plan…
Not long to go now!
Well now I must confess, being dragged out of retirement to write and direct a short dramatic piece based on actual Titanic passengers…really did seem like a good idea at the time!
However, I began to doubt my wisdom a couple of weeks ago when rehearsals of this fairly serious piece started to resemble a patchwork quilt of the best (or worse) bits of “It’ll be alright on the night”.
Problems? Well, in the words of Forrest Gump - Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.. kept rummaging through my head. But I stuck to my family motto “Trust in God, Persevere” (honest, it’s true) and hey presto, with a week and a bit to go, today we had three dress rehearsals; and each one got better and better and better!
So well done Patrick, Julie, Janine, Nuala, Ciara, The Doc, Alisdair and er, wotsisname? Oh yes, Richard (cue please) Hurst.
However this was all achieved at great cost to me. Almost a full pack of ciggies, a few more facial wrinkles and, forgive me father - a few expletives you certainly would not hear from a pulpit on a Sunday!
If I was a member of the public, I’d be camped on the doorstep of the UAFP next weekend to ensure I get to see this masterpiece!
The story of Mary McGovern
In early April of 1912 young Mary McGovern whose story is told in the Titanic: Window into Emigration Exhibition at the Ulster American Folk Park left County Cavan in search of a new life in America.
If you get along to the museum from Saturday 2nd to Tuesday 5th June you can meet Mary and several of her fellow travelling companions as they prepare for an epic journey on a ship named Titanic.
Why not stroll down the Ulster Street with them and experience the sights, smells and sounds of a busy market day in any major town in County Cavan during the early twentieth century. Discover what essential items a 3rd Class passenger required for the voyage. Chat with the Emigrant Agent about how your passage could be arranged. Shopkeepers, travelling journeymen, musicians and a variety of characters will keep you amused for hours on end.