Casey’s dream for Kats Theatre lives on in energetic night of poetry and prose

Michael Casey

You could almost sense the presence of Michael Casey in the room. Founded almost forty years ago, Kats theatre group gathered on the eve of ‘Poetry Day’, in Cleeres theatre on Parliament Street.

When Department of Agriculture employee Michael had decided to stage a production of Sean O Casey’s “Bedtime Story”, he could hardly have envisaged the growth of the drama group he christened Kats Theatre Group.

That was in 1986, when along with seven other likeminded folk they set out on a mission to form a theatre company.

To say they succeeded would be an understatement.

Today, the reins of the chair of Kats is in the more than capable hands of Delia Lowery.

Along with her committee, Delia arranged the night of poetry and told the Observer that it was essential to celebrate Poetry Day.”

We have a wealth of talent in the town and county including actors and writers and it seemed to be the natural thing to bring them together to celebrate the written word”, said Delia.

And how right she was.


We were treated to some fantastic work that included poetry from established American, English and Irish poets as well as new work from young emerging Kilkenny based poets.

While it is always nice to hear the familiar words of the more established poets’ it was especially inspiring to hear the new poets read their sometimes radical take on life.

If we needed to be reminded that the world is changing, then these new poets did just that. And some. It was refreshing to say the least and gave great hope that the written word is in safe hands.

The fifty plus attendance were treated to what MC Lowery described as a “welcome back to live theatre night”.

The two hour show flew by in the newly refurbished Cleeres theatre. Welcoming the audience, joint owner of the Parliament street venue, Johnny Holden expressed delight in seeing a full house and the return to live entertainment.

Mr Holden even kicked off the night by reciting one of his favourite poems.

Thanking everyone who attended the evening Ms Lowery said:

“Kats Poetry night was an opportunity for an estranged group of people to find countenance and comradeship with their chosen poetry.

The calibre of the poetry was up there with the finest, raw and undulating, temperate and refined. Poetry itself is an encapsulated succinct piece of theatre, three minutes of vulnerability that allows you to be.

It’s theatre that’s accessible to everyone and it’s about community.”

So well done to Kats on their poetry initiative and to Delia Lowery for an excellent job as MC.

Michael Casey would definitely have approved and no doubt was looking on with that loveable smile he carried.


Previous Dawn gathering commemorates Anzac day with dignitiy and pride
Next Tribesmen by one!