Set in Ireland with a touch of fantasy, "The Last Torch" is a new exciting musical poised to take the world by storm. It's Les Miserables meets Game of Thrones. This musical is an adventure through time and space connecting the past to the present through music. Although taken from history, it contains supernatural and fictitious events.
"The Last Torch" centres around the historic destruction of King Philip of Spains fleet off the West coast of Ireland. Detailed accounts exist of the meeting between the Spanish Captain Francisco Cuellar and the rebel clan leader Brian O'Rourke. This musical is heavily based in history taken mostly from Franciscan writings and the detailed account of Cuellar but also contains some fictional characters and relationships.
On many levels it's a love story. It tells of the love of the Irish for their culture and land, the love for their children and their love for each other. It is romance and passion on the backdrop of conflict. This story gives homage to the fallen, to the men and women who have fought for their independence against dire odds and have given their lives in the name of freedom. It explores Indigenous, colonisation and power issues all of which are relevant today.
Whilst writing the music I was transported to another realm. I could hear the music like it was emerging from my bones, like it was being whispered in my ear. The main themes arrived in a frenzy of writing and visualising that lasted 3 months. Over the last four years this musical/opera has taken form and now needs to dance on stage. It is to this end that I am asking for support.
This is a mission about many things. It's about the colonisation of Ireland and the consequent generational damage that it caused in my family and so many others and the healing of that pain. It's about love and the feminine. It's for my mother, it's for all who went before and those who will come after. It's about remembering where I am from and inspiring you to find out your story, find your passion and go on your mission.
-- Frances O'Neill / Project Creator (Melbourne, Australia)