Sunday 21 January 2018

Dennehy not-so-Bullish on 'Keane Country' reviews

Brian Dennehy ahead of his performance in 'The Field' at the INEC in Killarney
Brian Dennehy ahead of his performance in 'The Field' at the INEC in Killarney

Majella O'Sullivan

HOLLYWOOD actor Brian Dennehy has revealed he was a little worried how his portrayal of 'The Bull McCabe' would go down in 'Keane country'.

But then again the veteran actor was playing to a home crowd last night which included the famous playwright's widow, Mary, son Billy, daughter Joanna, son-in-law Simon and some 180 friends and family from Listowel.

'The Field' by John B Keane opened in Killarney's INEC last night and will run for three nights in the home county of the famous Kerry playwright.


Mr Dennehy, who has just completed a successful run at Dublin's Olympia Theatre, said this was his first time to perform outside of the capital.

"Let's just hope they don't start throwing rocks at us," he said. "We'll see how it goes. It was very successful in Dublin and you couldn't get a ticket but here in Keane country I don't know."

Mr Dennehy, whose great-grandmother was born near Killarney, was honoured at a civic reception hosted by Killarney Town Council on Monday night.

He said although it was a number of years since his "friend" John B had passed, it was still an honour to perform his plays.

"He was a writer of the people and especially rural people. It's interesting what John B did with this play. He took this incident of one farmer who killed another in a land dispute and turned it into a play about Irish women in 1964, the church, and their position as essentially child-bearers.

"He took what you might call an early anti-clerical stance with the church cooperating with the police.

"The thing about The Bull is that he's a sociopath, against all authority, and he uses that great speech at the end to throw rocks at a couple of his targets."

Family and friends of Mr Dennehy, from Millstreet, Co Cork, where his father was born, were also in Killarney last night. His daughter Kathy and her fiance have been with him throughout his Irish tour. After Killarney, it's on to Castlebar in Co Mayo.

Irish Independent

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