Sunday 17 December 2017

Southern comforts for actor Stephen Brennan

Back home: Stephen Brennan
Back home: Stephen Brennan

Why I do declare!

Actor Stephen Brennan was flying high after touching down in Dublin airport this week.

And with good reason. The much loved thesp was greeted with news that his daughter – writer and actor Sarah Brennan – had just welcomed her baby girl Ruby Early into the world.

Brennan was travelling back from South Carolina having performed in the Gate Theatre's production of My Cousin Rachel at the Spoleto Arts Festival. The Gate are regulars at the Southern do ever since festival director Nigel Redden doorstepped director of the Gate, Michael Colgan, at the premiere of Salome in 1990.

He implored Colgan to come visit and, since then, the theatre has built up a reputation for top-notch stage shows and killer socialising skills.

"It was our 10th year and the show went down a treat and a dream," Colgan said.

The cast, which included Hannah Yelland, Fair City actor Bryan Murray and Rachel Gleeson (the sister of former Game of Thrones star Jack), made sure to soak up some of that southern history and charm.

"We went on a day trip to Savannah, saw the Civil War sites, ate soft shell crab and I bought a fantastic pair of deck shoes," Colgan said as we wandered round the foyer of the Gate.

"The only down side was I had to come home early for work."

Rehearsals are already under way for the theatre's next production – Arthur Miller's The Price – which will be directed by acclaimed American theatre practitioner Doug Hughes.

Hughes flew in from New York two weeks ago having recently finished working on John Patrick Shanley's acclaimed Broadway show Outside Mullingar.

"We didn't win a Tony but we got the nomination," Hughes said. "Which is still pretty impressive."

The curtain is due to go up on July 1 for The Price.


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