Thursday 23 October 2014

Keane's widow 'moved' by portrait of John B

Published 30/05/2014 | 02:30

Mary Keane and grand-daughters Laura and Maggie hold the portrait of the late playwright.
Artist Cian McLoughlin talks to Mary Keane at the Gaeity Theatre Leon Farrell/ Photocall Ireland

JOHN B Keane's widow Mary said she was "moved beyond belief" when a portrait of her late husband was unveiled in the bar of the Gaiety Theatre last night.

Painted by renowned artist Cian McLoughlin and commissioned by MCD's Caroline Downey and Denis Desmond, the porcelain blue and white painting depicts playwright Keane at various stages throughout his life – his wife standing in the background watching him.

"Sure isn't it a grand place to be. Keeping an eye on the man himself," Mrs Keane said.

"I am absolutely delighted with it – it's a kaleidoscope of his life. It captures everything about John – I'm 85 years old but I would have flown to the moon and back to ensure I was here tonight."

Morah Ryan, Anne Cassin and broadcaster Gay Byrne all attended the opening night.

"He was a great man," Gay Byrne said. "As smart as a whip and a pleasure to listen to. Any time he appeared on the Late Late the audience would sigh with relief, they knew they were in for a good story."

'Moll' is the first production in the theatre's inaugural John B Keane season and will run until June 21.

Irish Independent

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