Friday 19 January 2018

Mark faces 'the mammy milestone'

Mark O’Halloran
Mark O’Halloran
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

It seems there's no harsher critic than the Irish mammy.

At least that's according to actor Mark O'Halloran, right, who was feeling a degree of trepidation on the opening night of the Abbey Theatre's production of Twelfth Night.

"My mam is in tonight and that always makes me a bit nervous," he said. "It's a milestone – 'the mam milestone'. Once tonight is done and dusted you can relax into the performance."

O'Halloran is playing Malvolio in director Wayne Jordan's re-imaging of the classic text which aims to mix pop culture with medieval sensibilities.

"It's the hipster's guide to Shakespeare," one theatregoer explained. "Lots of day-glo, experimental haircuts and soliloquies."

The opening night attracted a colourful crowd with theatre veterans determined to raise a birthday toast to the Bard.

"It was his 450th birthday last week," composer Tom Lane said. "That's a pretty big number by anyone's reckoning."

Mary Hanafin chatted about her wild college days with actor Barry McGovern while DJ Rick O'Shea wound his way through the foyer.

Head of the Irish Film Board James Hickey soaked up the atmosphere as director Ronan Phelan and actor Nick Lee enjoyed a pre show tipple.

"Every actor has to give Twelfth Night a shot," respected thespian John Kavanagh commented. "It's a joy to roll those words around your mouth."

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