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Thursday 21 August 2014

Pub play 'the perfect tribute to Brendan Behan'

Kirsty Blake Knox

Published 24/03/2014 | 02:30

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Brendan Behan pictured in 1958
Brendan Behan pictured in 1958

FRIENDS and family of Brendan Behan took a step back in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dublin playwright's passing.

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A unique staging of extracts from Behan's 1963 work 'Hold Your Hour and Have Another' were performed yesterday in the surroundings of Grogan's pub in Dublin city centre.

"I wanted people to be transported back to Brendan's Dublin," director Elizabeth Tutty said.

"A place of early houses, late nights, singing songs and beautiful and brutal language. We could have performed the piece in a theatre but this was more of a reflection of the man himself."

'Hold Your Hour and Have Another' draws upon a series of articles Behan wrote for the 'Irish Press' when he was broke and living in London.

Actor Vincent Smith, who first appeared in the one-man play in 1975, recited several pieces at the bar.

"The atmosphere was electric; the place was crammed, filled with relatives, friends and people who had worked alongside him," Tutty said.

Niall Toibin, who played Behan in the 1971 production of 'Borstal Boy', arrived at the bar alongside actress Rosaleen Linehan and folk musician Pete Saint John.

Behan's nephew, the musician Brendan Behan, said it was an emotional and evocative day. "It was the perfect location, the perfect play and the perfect day. It was extremely emotional," he said.

Irish Independent

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