News Courts

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Doyle copyright case won't be fast-tracked by court

Tim Healy

A MAN who claims he co-wrote a modern version of 'Playboy of the Western World' with novelist Roddy Doyle has alleged breach of copyright over the staging of the play in the Abbey Theatre.

Bisi Adigun, of Roebuck Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin, alleges he initiated, with Mr Doyle, a version in which the Playboy Christy Mahon was a Nigerian asylum seeker.

Mr Adigun, a dramatist and theatre director/producer, is suing the Abbey, theatre director Jimmy Fay and Mr Doyle over the 'Playboy' as staged in the Abbey between December 2008 and January 2009. The play premiered at the 2007 Dublin Theatre Festival but Mr Adigun claims the Abbey, against his wishes and in conjunction with Mr Doyle, remounted "a distorted version" in 2008/09, which was directed by Mr Fay.

Yesterday, Mr Adigun failed to have his proceedings fast-tracked by the Commercial Court because of his failure to process the case with the urgency required for commercial proceedings. His case will now be subject to normal court procedures.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly also granted costs against Mr Adigun of yesterday's application to Mr Doyle after his (Doyle's) lawyers said this was the third set of proceedings arising from the staging of the modern 'Playboy'.

The Abbey and Mr Fay said they were not seeking their costs as Mr Adigun was representing himself.


In an affidavit from Mr Doyle's solicitors, they said the novelist's consent, although required for the first staging of the play in 2007, had not been sought nor obtained.

However, Mr Doyle had not sought to prevent that first run as that would have had harsh economic consequences for those involved but he had reserved his rights and contended the agreement for that first staging amounted to a fundamental breach of contract.

Mr Doyle also intended to fully defend the claims against him concerning the second staging of the play in late 2008. To his knowledge, no changes were made to the script and he had no liability in that regard.

Mr Adigun claimed the staging of that production without his consent infringed his copyright and his moral rights as copious and substantial alterations and "mutilations" were carried out to the text and stage directions.

Irish Independent

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