Theatre company looks to the gods for help

A THEATRE company in Waterford said it is “praying for a miracle” after a carved styrofoam statue of Our Lady went missing from its premises in the city just before curtain up on its latest production.

Theatre company Stagemad has in recent weeks been rehearsing for Pearldivers, a play written by local playwright, Adam Wallace.

A prop central to the play is a statue of Our Lady, which was produced by Stagemad actor and artist James Whelan.

However, it appears the statue has vanished without trace, just after the play’s director James Power claimed he “saw the statue moving slightly every so often”.

The play, with a cast of three women, one man, and a statue of Our Lady, is due to open at Garter Lane Arts Centre on O’Connell Street tomorrow night.

Mr Power, also artistic director of Stagemad, yesterday said both he and Adam suddenly noticed “the statue had turned a strange orange and red colour” at rehearsals in the Mercy Convent in the city on Thursday night.

“This must have gone on for at least five minutes,” said Mr Power.

Both Mr Power and Mr Wallace denied that it was some sort of publicity stunt.

Mr Power said: “As I approached to investigate, the statue began to move as if it was about to keel over or something.

“I am not joking — there was this weird feeling in the room and time seemed to stand still.”

Mr Power said both he and Mr Wallace ran out of the building, locking the door and setting the alarm.

Mr Power said: “Nobody else was in there and on our return the next day we disabled the alarm, unlocked the door and to our astonishment the statue was gone.

“Everything else was untouched in the room. I thought this was a practical joke pulled by one of my colleagues but apparently it’s not,” he said.

“The statue has taken months of hard work to prepare. We at Stagemad are at our wits end trying to find it.”

Mr Power appealed to anyone who had information about the missing statue to get in touch with the theatre company.

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