It's Morning Now by Dermot Nolan
IT'S MORNING NOW is a historical drama about the events surrounding the assassination of Canadian Father of Confederation, D'Arcy McGee. It is based on the historical record - with a twist.
The play begins in Ireland, in 1848, where a young D'Arcy McGee is a fugitive, wanted for high treason following a failed uprising against Britain during the Great Famine. He is hunted by a police magistrate named Blake who doesn't recognize him when they are staying in the same lodging house in Donegal. McGee escapes to America, disguised as a priest, on a ship called the Shamrock. Blake loses his position as a result of his error, and swears his revenge against McGee.
The scene shift to Canada, 20 years later. McGee is now a Canadian statesman and Father of Confederation. He re-unites with his old friend Mundy Hayes who had helped him escape 20 years earlier. Unbeknownst to them, Blake has followed McGee to Canada and joined the Loyal Orange Order, a secret sectarian society which McGee has vigorously condemned. McGee has also incurred the wrath of the Fenian Brotherhood, a secret Irish sectarian society also publicly condemned by McGee.
Blake encourages a gullible Fenian named Whelan to murder McGee as a traitor to the Irish cause. After McGee is murdered, Hayes comforts his widow and resolves to get to the bottom of the mystery of who killed him. Whelan protests his innocence but is charged with the murder nevertheless. Following a dramatic trial he is found guilty and subsequently hanged. The play ends with a dramatic encounter between Hayes and Blake which reveals Blake's treachery and Hayes' prescience.
Keywords: Canadian history; D'Arcy McGee; Confederation; Assassination; Trial; Irish; Catholic; Protestant; Orange Order; Fenians; Courtroom; Lawyers; Politics: Fathers of Confederation; Parliament; Rebel; Revolutionary
Running Time: 150 minutes
Male Cast: 15
Female Cast: 4
Double Cast: 7
Other Cast: 5
Suitable for School Productions: Students 14+
Maximum Number of Roles: 30
Minimum Number of Roles: 15