Tuesday 23 May 2017

Son of football legend wows audiences

JAMES GIBBONS

THE son of former Meath football manager Sean Boylan and grandson of Brigadier General Sean Boylan is ploughing his own furrow on stage in the Abbey Theatre.

Sean Og Boylan, 19, is currently mesmerising audiences with his performances on the piano in Carl Maria Von Weber's Invitation To The Dance in the Abbey Theatre production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.

His father, the well-known herbalist Sean, 67, is "extremely proud of Sean Og's beautiful talent and the extraordinary career he's entering".

Sean Og taught himself how to read music initially and only admits to having played football "briefly". He is extremely proud of his father.

"He was the first non-medic to address the Word Health Organisation. That's his day job. He didn't even get paid for being a football manager, he just loved doing it. He's that sort of person."

Love of what they do in life is important to the Boylans. Sean says his son simply "loves" his music.

When casting got in touch with Sean Og, he didn't realise that he would also have to do some acting alongside the likes of Risteard Cooper and Nick Dunning, as well as taking on the role of the pianist.

"I acted in some small things in school but nothing professional like this," Sean Og said.

But performing on stage is nothing new for the young Meath man. Only last month he sang for President Mary McAleese at the Feis Ceol Gala Concert in the Dublin Convention Centre. It was part of his prize for coming first in voice at this year's Feis.

He is currently studying piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music with Dr John O'Conor.

Mr O'Conor's son, Hugh, is also in Pygmalion and plays the role of Freddy.

Sean Og has some tentative plans for the future. "If my degree goes well here then I could go abroad, possibly to the Royal Academy in London or to the Juilliard School in New York, to do piano or voice."

The eldest of six, he has three brothers and two sisters.

It is something of a tradition in the Boylan household for the boys to attend the Jesuit-run Belvedere College and follow in their father's footsteps.

'Belvo' is also the alma mater of James Joyce who was also a competitor in the Feis Ceol. The trek to the school from Edenmore Farm in Dunboyne meant that Sean Og had to get up at 6.30am for the commute.

The Jesuits have passed on a humility in father and son alike, both are unassuming about their respective talents.

Pygmalion continues at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, until June 11

Sunday Independent

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