You might know a little about Irelands struggle for independence, but few people know many of the details. "The Revolution: The Irish War of Independence 1919-1921" dramatizes it in stark detail. St. Patricks Day traditions make us think of a happy, easygoing people. But the Irish have had a difficult history.

The Crowded Kitchen Players latest production at Bethlehems IceHouse on Sand Island is a live documentary. The players in the ensemble take turns telling the Irish story with facts and dramatizations.

A screen above the stage shows historical scenes and photographs of the actual participants. The latter includes the grandfather of cast member Fiona Galligan Sweeney.

"The Revolution" is the second part of a trilogy of plays written by director Ara Barlieb about the Irish struggle for independence from England. The first play, 2022s "The Rising," was about the insurrection staged on Easter Monday of 1916, which began in Dublin.

The first part of the show, which is about two hours long, leads up to the events of 1919 through 1921. The occupation of Ireland began in 1169 with the invasion by King Henry II.REV OPENING

The play shows it continuing up to the First World War, when England demanded military conscription, even though 300 thousand Irishmen were already serving in the army. The Irish did not want to be forced to fight without their own independence.

The rest of "Revolution" adds vignettes to the historical facts and figures.

The first was the discussion of an ambush of constables driving a horse-driven cart.

Others describe the unsuccessful attempt at assassination of English military leader John French; the "Bloody Sunday" of 1920 when soldiers fired into football spectators in Dublin; the burning of the city of Cork; and the burning of the Custom House in Dublin.

At various times cast members take the roles of historical figures, reciting from a speech, memoir, or letter.

Dan Ferry is the ill-fated rebel leader Michael Collins. David Oswald is Irish Republican Army leader Sean Tracey and political leader Eamon De Valera. Sharon Ferry is rebel leader Tom Barry. Trish Cipoletti is Brighid OMullane, recruiter for the womens group Cumann na mBan. Pamela McLean Wallace is undercover IRA operative Lily Mernin.

Bruce Brown plays Churchill, who does not come off well historically. He thought Irish independence was "rubbish," and could not understand why anyone would not want to be British.

Other gifted ensemble performers are Colleen Popper, Mary Pat Lemass, Denise Shelton, and Joe Grahek.

Throughout the show Joey Mutis III of The Electric Farm, accompanied by his acoustic guitar, sings traditional songs about the events.

Mutis researched to find lyrics about this time (most of these songs have many versions), and his heartfelt renditions greatly add to the dramatic effect.

"Revolution" is a fascinating and often shocking look at history that many are unfamiliar with, even in Ireland and Britain.

Despite the complicated history, the Irish revolution is very relatable here due to the focus on dramatic events and individuals.

Tickets are $20. Performances are 7:30 p.m. March 15 and 16; and 2 p.m. March 17. For tickets, call 610-704-6974, or go to