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Saturday 26 July 2014

'Lost' plays of John B Keane to make debut at the Gaiety

Kirsty Blake Knox

Published 07/02/2014|02:30

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Cast members Mary McEvoy and Frank Kelly at the launch of the Annual John B Keane Season which will commence with a new production of the critically acclaimed MOLL at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. Photo: Collins
Cast members Mary McEvoy and Frank Kelly at the launch of the Annual John B Keane Season which will commence with a new production of the critically acclaimed MOLL at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. Photo: Collins

TWO previously unpublished and unproduced John B Keane plays, 'The Vigilante' and 'Piseog', are to be staged at the Gaiety Theatre.

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Theatre managing director Caroline Downey is waiting to receive the two texts from the Keane family and will begin work-shopping them in the coming months.

"I went down to visit the family home in Listowel and they told us about the plays," Ms Downey, pictured, told the Irish Independent.

"They are sending them up to me at the moment. One of them is in Irish so they are having it translated for me. We would hope to stage them in the future if that is possible."

John B Keane's son John described the two plays as "dark and funny".

"His writing is honest and true and that's why people connect with it," he said.

Mr Keane was talking at the launch of the Gaiety Theatre's inaugural John B Keane season.

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

The first season will commence on May 29 with light-hearted play 'Moll'.

First produced in 1971, 'Moll' is set in an Irish parochial house and tells the story of bossy housekeeper Maureen Kettle.

"'Moll' is a funny one," Ms Downey said.

"In a way this play is the original 'Father Ted'. I think it's good to start off with a light-hearted play.

"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."

Directed by David Horan, the play stars Frank Kelly of 'Father Ted' fame as The Bishop, Des Keogh as Canon Pratt and former 'Glenroe' actress Mary McEvoy as Bridgie Andover.

Mr Kelly played Canon Pratt before and said it was "a great honour" to return to the play.

"I consider it a privilege to perform in the play again," he said. "And taking on a new part is very exciting."

Irish Independent

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