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Thursday, 25th November 2021

Kate the Navvy, The Star of Chester’s Lane, returns to the Droichead

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A scene from the Quintessence Theatre production of “The Star of Chesters Lane.” Photograph by Jenny Matthews.

Quintessence Theatre are bringing their bawdy, energetic, witty and uniquely Irish comedy “The Star of Chester’s Lane” back to the Droichead Arts centre theatre next Thursday night, December 2 at 8.00pm.

A Drogheda Arts Festival 2018 Commission, The Star of Chester’s Lane is an original comedy that breathes bawdy new life into Irish history and uproariously celebrates the great tradition of the storyteller … and sure what more do we need now than a good laugh?!

This is a man’s world: always has been. Or has it…? In 1854: Christopher McGrath fell to his death working on the building of the Boyne Viaduct Bridge, leaving his wife, Catherine, alone to fend for herself.

What’s a poor woman to do…? …Put on his clothes, of course, and take up his place in the world!

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Kate McGrath was a navvy by name and navvy by nature: Navvy, hawker, drunkard, comedienne, trailblazer, and tale-teller.

An Irish woman well beyond her time, she loved, and laughed, and lived a fascinating and colourful existence, packing several lifetimes of adventures into her 60 years as one of Ireland’s most infamous residents.

In this original play, devised by the company, Quintessence Theatre use their dazzling physical ensemble theatre techniques to reimagine bustling 19th century Ireland and the remarkable true story of one of the country’s forgotten street characters, Kate the Navvy: the Molly Malone of Louth.


  • Ceara Carney
  • Fiona Keenan O’Brien
  • Anthony Kinahan


  • Director - Anna Simpson
  • Assistant Director/Producer - Leah Rossiter
  • Executive Producer - Paul Hayes
  • Lighting Designer – Israel Del Barco

Audience Reactions:

“Bawdy, irreverent, tragic, energetic … a local story that could be told anywhere … I can see will be our Molly Malone" - Alison Comyn, Drogheda Independent. 

“Brilliant … madcap, Marx Bros meets Monty Python comic treatment that managed nonetheless to make a serious point … a daring comic approach to a quite serious subject matter” - Declan Gorman, Anaverna Productions. 

“Energetically physical production with all the trademark wit, intelligence, ingenuity and talent that I have come to expect from this company” - Niall O’Brien, Droichead Arts Centre. 

Tickets - €18/€16 are available at

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