Friday 23 August 2019

Colgan signs up Andrea as his Jane Eyre

Barry Egan

Barry Egan

It is perhaps his most inspired piece of casting since Bruce Willis played Bruce in What Just Happened (by the way, we all know what just happened to Michael Colgan -- his love for theatre led him, via Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett, to an OBE, but I digress). The artistic director extraordinaire of the Gate has cast Andrea Corr as Jane Eyre in his new production at -- well, where else? -- the Gate.

Colgan told me he was excited at working with the incomparable Ms Corr -- what man wouldn't be? "I've been trying for sometime to cast Andrea Corr in a play. It was Brian Friel's idea for me to go and see her in Dancing at Lughnasa," Colgan told me. Don't tell me you missed Corr's performance as Rose in Friel's Dancing At Lughnasa at the Old Vic in London early last year?

"I was hugely impressed with her performance. And she and I have been talking."

The talks have been fruitful and after several meetings with Andrea and director Alan Stanford, Colgan was able to tell me "Andrea is going to play opposite Stephen Brennan as Lord Rochester in a special production of Jane Eyre at the Gate this Christmas."

It is sure to be a hit, not just with Irish audiences, whose bums will fill every seat, but international luvvies too will hopefully get on planes to come to Dublin to watch it.

Something of a jetsetter himself, Colgan was in hectic form as he was in the middle of rehearsals for Pinter's Celebration. It opens on October 6 at the Gate with former EastEnders' heartthrob Nigel Harman in the lead role. Colgan is directing. He was also finalising Krapp's Last Tape at the Duchess Theatre in London which has its opening night on September 22. Maybe he should run for the Presidency? But would that be a too much of a demotion for the tirelessly cultural Colgan?

Sunday Independent

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