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Monday 19 February 2018

McWilliams's wife reveals stage debut jitters

Allison Bray

AN eclectic mix of economists, journalists, playwrights and comedians flocked to the opening night of economist David McWilliams' debut play at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin last night.

Billed as "part stand-up comedy, part discussion and part social observation", 'Outsiders' tells the story of the people left to fend for themselves following the demise of the Celtic Tiger.

It also addresses the "recent collusion between the insiders of the Irish political system and the financial sector".

Household names, including veteran RTE broadcaster Pat Kenny, comedian Ardal O'Hanlon and acclaimed playwright Conor McPherson were among the guests.

McWilliams's wife Sian Smyth said her husband had a bit of the opening night jitters despite being a regular commentator on economic and social policy on radio and television and hosting the popular 'Leviathian' public debate series.

"He's taken it to a completely different level," she said. "I'd imagine he was quite nervous with this."

But Kenny commended him on his bravado in tackling a controversial subject.

"I think he's very brave," he said.

"I'm on his side. I hope it goes well for him," he said. "I'm looking forward to it, I must say."

McPherson said he was also looking forward to the performance.

"I think he's very brave and I think it's good he's doing something different," he said.


"I don't know what to expect but I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

'Father Ted' actor O'Hanlon added: "What is a shame is we live in a society where we know the names of economists.

"That's sad. Milton Friedman, and Keynes, that's fair enough.

"But Eddie Hobbs, David McWilliams? Should we really know them?" he asked.

Irish Independent

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