Friday 26 December 2014

Gerry's family left off guest list for 'Lambo' premiere

KEN SWEENEY ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Published 17/09/2013 | 11:27

Guests at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2013 at The Marker Hotel, Dublin, Ireland - 26.04.13. Pictures: G. McDonnell / Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM *** Local Caption *** Lottie Ryan, Morah Ryan, Bonnie Ryan
Lottie Ryan, Morah Ryan, Bonnie Ryan
Morah Ryan, Lottie Ryan
Morah Ryan
Lottie Ryan, Morah Ryan

THE family of late broadcaster Gerry Ryan have been left off the invitation list for the first night of a play about one of the most infamous episodes of his career.

THE family of late broadcaster Gerry Ryan have been left off the invitation list for the first night of a play about one of the most infamous episodes of his career.

Lambo recounts the 1987 national outrage sparked when the 2fm DJ claimed he had clubbed a lamb to death with a rock while on a survival course in the wilds of Connemara.

It later transpired he had not slaughtered the lamb but not before questions had been asked in the Dail.

First staged as a 20-minute "work in progress" at the Project Arts Centre last January, the one-man show, starring Michael Ford-FitzGerald as Ryan, returns to the New Theatre tonight for its full 60-minute run, airing as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival.

"This finished production goes into what actually happened, and we also find out if Gerry killed the Lamb or not," producer Aisling O'Brien told the Herald.

Despite the drama focused around Ford-Fitzgerald playing Ryan, producers say they didn't feel obliged to invite any members of the Ryan family to see the full play staged for the first time.

"We hope fans of Gerry Ryan will like it but it's not about Gerry or the Ryan family. It's about how the media can put a celebrity on a pedestal and then take them down," she added.

Along with Gerry Ryan, "whose bombastic storytelling will transport the audience to the wilds of Connemara, to the back corridors of RTÉ and into the surreal and ridiculous world of the mind and memory", Ford-Fitzgerald also plays 14 different characters in the Hugh Travers-penned production, including Gay Byrne and TD Tony Gregory.

The famous eighties scandal turned unknown DJ Ryan into a household name and was the Irish nation's first taste of reality TV.

"Along with the actual story, it is an investigation into how numb as a society we have become with media-spun stories and craftily choreographed celebrity survival shows, this was the first of its kind in 1987 and was the inspiration for so many that came after," Ms O'Brien said.

Lambo opens tonight and runs at the New Theatre, East Essex Street until Saturday.

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