Theatre Troupe Performs In Greenville Thursday

Laura Irish & Sam McIlroy , of The Barden Party.

The professional New Zealand theatre troupe, known as The Barden Party, will perform on the Greenville square Thursday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.

The public is invited to the free event at the courthouse lawn. Those attending should bring a lawn chair.

The show is a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The Barden Party was the idea of Greenville University graduate Laura Irish. She said the group was in New Zealand in mid to late 2021 and because of the pandemic a lot of them didn’t have work in the arts. Several members of the group were in a show that was cancelled, so Laura came up with the idea of putting together shows in people’s backyards. She gathered actors and musicians and they readapted “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to make it musical with pop songs. They toured it around New Zealand and brought the show to America.

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Irish and performer Sam McIlroy told us there’s no admission, but they will ask for donations. The performance is just over two hours. Laura said the play is very silly and is accessible for all ages. Pop songs by Britney Spears, Hall & Oates, and more have been adapted into folk songs for the play.

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The group just returned from three shows in Hawaii. Laura graduated from Greenville University in 2005 and she’s excited about bringing The Barden Party to the city where she attended college. She thanked Jes Adam with the City of Greenville and Ross Baker at Greenville University for helping make the performance happen here.

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The group will perform in Pontoon Beach Friday night and Granite City Saturday night. More information is available at

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