Monday 3 August 2015

It's back to the parochial house for 'Ted' star Kelly

Published 31/03/2014 | 02:30

Mary McEvoy and Frank Kelly
Mary McEvoy and Frank Kelly

Actor Frank Kelly is returning to the comfortable setting of a parochial house for his latest theatrical role at the Gaiety Theatre.

Kelly will star as His Lordship The Bishop in John B Keane's 'Moll', which focuses on a rural presbytery in Kerry and the antics of bossy housekeeper Maureen Kettle.

With such a familiar set-up, it's easy to draw comparisons with Arthur Mathews' and Graham Linehan's hugely popular series 'Father Ted', but Kelly believes the worlds couldn't be further apart.

"People say 'Moll' was the precursor to 'Father Ted' but I think that's rubbish," he told the Irish Independent.

"I doubt Graham and Arthur sat down with this play when they started writing the script. It was a different time and an entirely different attitude to religion."

Playing members of the clergy has become something of a forte for Kelly, who may be best known for his portrayal as Father Jack Hackett in 'Father Ted', but as an actor Kelly never feels type-cast.

"I have done many other things than play priests and bishops," he said. "I recently played a judge in the 'Mrs Brown's Boys' film and was in a short film about a man and his dog.

"But people seem to remember the priests and bishops – perhaps they make more of an impact."

The John B Keane Season will commemorate the playwright's contribution to Irish theatre and literature through the staging of his iconic plays.

MCD has bought the rights to seven of Keane's plays including 'The Chastitute', 'Sharon's Grave' and 'The Year of the Hiker'.

Caroline Downey is in the process of bringing two unpublished plays to the stage. One, called 'Vigilante', is about the infamous GAA ban on "foreign games", while the other, 'Piseog', is about the old Irish curse.

"It'll be nice for tourists to know they can come to Dublin at a definite time of year and a John B Keane play will be on," Ms Downey said.

Irish Independent

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