Garth Brooks’ Canceled Ireland Shows Inspire Play
Garth Brooks planned on kicking off his World Tour with a series of shows in Ireland last year, but with only a couple weeks to go before opening night, city officials refused to grant the country music superstar permission to perform all five concerts in Croke Park, and the entire series was canceled, leaving Brooks, along with the thousands of fans who had already bought tickets for the sold-out shows, sorely disappointed. Now, the entire saga is being captured in a play, set to debut later this year.
Are You There Garth? It's Me, Margaret (a twist on the young adult novel Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret) was written by dramatist Fiona Looney. The play will focus on the ups and downs of the entire debacle, from Brooks' announcement that he would play five shows in Croke Park, to the back-and-forth among residents and officials who both supported and opposed the concerts, to the final cancellation after all five shows were already sold out.
Are You There Garth? It's Me, Margaret will run in Galway, Cork, Limerick and Dublin. Irish actress Deirdre O'Kane will play the role of a country music fan who is deeply affected by what became referred to as "Garthgate."
"I’m not a fan of Garth Brooks, I wouldn’t know his music -- but Fiona is amazing at capturing a person like this," O'Kane tells Entertainment.ie. "I love that she’s taken one person’s story in the midst of all that sheer madness and gone to the heart of what it really meant to somebody and her love of Brooks."
Brooks admits that canceling the Ireland shows was one of the most heartbreaking events of his life.
"To say I am crushed is an understatement," he said when the news became official. "All I see is my mother’s face and I hear her voice. She always said things happen for a reason and for the right reason. As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one."
The Oklahoma native is currently criss-crossing the U.S. on his World Tour. An updated list of all of his shows can be found here.
You Think You Know Garth Brooks?