Thursday 20 September 2018

'I won't play it like Marilyn Monroe' - Aoibhinn McGinnity to star in Miller's valentine to movie misfit Marilyn

Aoibhínn McGinnity at the launch of the 61st Dublin Theatre Festival yesterday. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Aoibhínn McGinnity at the launch of the 61st Dublin Theatre Festival yesterday. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Former 'Love/Hate' actress Aoibhínn McGinnity is to take on one of Marilyn Monroe's most iconic roles in a new adaptation of 'The Misfits'.

McGinnity will play Roslyn Taber in a production of Arthur Miller's iconic 1961 film, which has been adapted by theatre company The Corn Exchange.

Miller wrote the script as 'a valentine' for his wife Marilyn Monroe. It tells the story of Roslyn, who arrives in Reno to finalise a painful divorce, before shacking up with ageing cowboy Gay Langland, played by Clark Gable. McGinnity has never seen the film - directed by Oscar winner John Huston - and has no intention of doing so before rehearsals.

"I am not going to play it like Marilyn," she said. "I thought 'don't watch it or it will always be in my head, and it might mess up the journey'."

The play is being re-written by Annie Ryan and will run as part of the 61st Dublin Theatre Festival.

The festival, running from September 27 to October 14, has star appeal.

Oscar nominee Ruth Negga will take the title role in 'Hamlet' at The Gate Theatre, while 'Downton Abbey' actor Brendan Coyle will star in a new production of Conor McPherson's 'St Nicholas'.

Coyle and McPherson previously collaborated on 'The Weir', which won both the actor and the playwright Olivier awards in 1999.

Meanwhile, 'Peaky Binders' star Cillian Murphy will receive an award for his outstanding contribution to Irish theatre. "That involves a nice meal and everyone telling Cillian how wonderful he is," festival director Willie White said.

White also spoke about the 'tumultuous' few years in Ireland's theatre scene. In 2015, grassroots campaign Waking the Feminists highlighted a lack of gender parity, and last year allegations of inappropriate behaviour were levelled at then artistic director of The Gate, Michael Colgan.

"It has been very upsetting," White said. "We have had to look into ourselves and see if we practise the values we say we believe in - but we have come out the other end in quite a positive frame of mind."

White referred to initiatives such as Speak Up & Call It Out, and said change had been "long overdue".

Irish Independent

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