The Portable Theatre

Documentary, The Terence McDonald Collection
Directed by:
Terence McDonald
Produced by:
Terence McDonald


24 mins

An appealing portrait of the McCormick playersone of the last travelling theatre groups in Ireland in the late 1960s. 

Terence McDonald captures their variety show of songs, sketches and puppetry, along with interviews with the family members, most of whom were born into the business and have been on stage from as young as three years old. The audiences are diminishing due to the rise in television and showbands, but the family’s passion for the stage still burns brightly. RTÉ had scheduled this documentary for broadcast in 1967 but postponed transmission after the Apollo 1 explosion due to the unintended new context of one of Bert’s songs You’ll Never Reach the Moon. 

The film concludes with a song wishing the family goodbye with a final curtain call, with the family credited as Colm McCormick, Betty, Bert Patterson, Coral Patterson, Queenie White and Joe. 

This film is part of The Terence McDonald Collection. To watch more of the collection click here.