Seasoned Shakespeare actors Deirdre Mullins and Max Bennett met performing one of his plays, and have been in thrall to the Bard ever since, playing leads at the Globe and major roles in the international TV series Will about the life of Shakespeare. So when pals David and Chloe Ewings announced their move to the beautiful Roscommon countryside, the idea of staging one of their favourite plays to help them integrate into their new community was too much to resist.
They gathered together a troupe of some of their favourite people, who also happen to be amongst the greatest talents of their generation, boasting a wealth of experience from the Abbey, RSC, National Theatre, Globe and Royal Court as well as major television productions and international feature films.
Set in the grounds of the former Bishop’s Palace at Ballaghaderreen, the Pilgrim Players will produce brilliant productions of well-loved classics in a beautiful, historic location.
We hope to make accessible and vibrant theatre not just for ardent fans, but for all comers.
The Bishop’s Palace (aka Edmondstown House) was built in 1864 by Captain Arthur Robert Costello. The house was designed by John McCurdy, who also remodelled the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. It is built in the High Victorian Gothic style.
Costello accrued significant debts building the house. It is said that Mrs. Costello disliked the house intensely and returned to live in England rather than live in it.
In 1885, with spiralling debts, Costello was forced to sell the vast majority of the 8551 acre estate to the Land Commission. He retained the house and 315 acres.
In 1892, Fr. O’Hara and Fr. Keaveney, priests at the Cathedral in Ballaghaderreen, purchased the remainder of the estate from Costello. The land was divided and sold to local farmers.
In 1893, the diocesan college, St. Nathy’s, moved into the house. In 1896, the college moved to the former military barracks in the centre of town. The house was unoccupied until 1911 when Bishop Patrick Morrisroe was appointed Bishop of Achonry and moved into the house.
The house became the diocesan offices, archives and Bishop’s residence.
In 2017 David and Chloe Ewings bought The Bishop’s Palace to be their family home.