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Roddy Doyle's 'Two Pints' gets new lease of life at Olympia


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Cheers: ‘Two Pints’ actors Philip Judge (left) and Liam Carney (right) with Roddy Doyle and director Caitríona McLaughlin. Picture: Photocall

Cheers: ‘Two Pints’ actors Philip Judge (left) and Liam Carney (right) with Roddy Doyle and director Caitríona McLaughlin. Picture: Photocall

Cheers: ‘Two Pints’ actors Philip Judge (left) and Liam Carney (right) with Roddy Doyle and director Caitríona McLaughlin. Picture: Photocall

Writer Roddy Doyle has spoken about how his experience of his father dying eventually led to him penning his latest play 'Two Pints'.

In a reversal of the usual sequence of events, his latest production started off life on social media as a conversation on Facebook, before mushrooming into a nationwide tour in intimate, rural pubs.

But now the two-man Abbey Theatre production, directed by Caitríona McLaughlin, has been chosen for a lengthy run at the Olympia Theatre, starting this summer.

Based around the concept of two close friends chatting together in a pub while one of their parents is dying in hospital, Doyle said the idea came from his own life experience.

"It had been a Facebook thing for years, just very short dialogues," he said. "Some months after my father had died, I met a man in London and we talked about the possibility of it being a play, and he had been through a similar experience - his mother had died recently.

"We were talking about the whole rhythm of your life when this occurs, going to the hospital, and very soon, we were laughing. And he had great stories.

"At the end of the conversation, I thought in the back of my mind, I had a plot that would last the right length for a play," he explained.

Starring Liam Carney and Philip Judge, Doyle said that he wanted the three-part play to be kept "very simple" and centre around two friends who discuss every topic imaginable over a few pints.

He also spoke about the importance of Irish men opening up to each other in an open manner in terms of mental health.

"Remember when the World Health Organisation announced that three pints was a binge and there were doctors on the radio for days afterwards informing us?" said Doyle.

"Men who had been having the three pints... were like 'We've been drinking dangerously for four decades and here we were, we were grand'.

"And nobody mentioned the psychological benefits of being in the company of people you grew up with, and of your own gender and your own outlook, and the comfort there is in that - a private conversation where you can actually say what you want - and that's what these men do."

He added: "They are moments to cherish."

'Two Pints' runs at the Olympia from August 18-29.

Irish Independent