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Maiden Aunt taking to the stage of the Glen Theatre


Tom Stritch and Cathy Bailey. Photo by John Tarrant

Tom Stritch and Cathy Bailey. Photo by John Tarrant

Tom Stritch and Cathy Bailey. Photo by John Tarrant

Maiden aunts will have their shot at fame and spell in the spotlight this week when the curtain comes up on the latest production from the prolific Glen Theatre Company in Banteer.

The ever busy theatre will be the venue for the six night run of The Maiden Aunt, penned by playwright Jimmy Keary, a work which has been described as a side splitting fast moving comedy.

The drama unfolds as maiden aunt Gertie O'Grady, a retired teacher and spinster, comes to stay with her niece, Mary Murphy, after a spell in hospital.

Ever mindful Mary tries to persuade her aunt to make a will but then Gertie apparently 'dies', and the plot thickens when Mary's husband, Dan, comes up with an elaborate plan to get their hands on her money.

All the ingredients then of a good old fashioned romp on the theme, where there's a will, there's a relative or, even, where there's no will, there's also a relative!

The cast features several of the Glen Theatre's stalwart thespians, Eileen Cotter in the part of Mary Murphy, Philip Linehan as Dan Murphy, Tadhg Curtin as Francie Gilhooley, and Deirdre Linehan as Gertie O Grady in the main roles while other participants include Tom Stitch as John Paul Murphy, Evan O Brien as Jarlath McKenna, Jennifer Harvey as Caroline Quinn and Cathy Bailey as Paula Moore.

Under the direction of Tadhg O'Keeffe and Jane Pigott, the production also benefits from the back stage roles of Juliet Bailey, who's responsible for sound and lighting, set designer Maureen O'Brien and builders Kevin Angland and Jimmy O'Connell.

This is just one of two productions being staged this Spring by the Glen Theatre Company as the group is staging Sam Cree's Separate Beds in March, a production they intend to take on tour to Tallaght. They have produced this work before and it has proved very popular.

As Eileen Cotter, who plays Mary Murphy in the current production puts it: "Success on a night is hearing the laughter and applause of a happy audience."

The Glen Theatre Company have been together now for 30 years and this has helped build up a strong company of actors and behind the scenes theatre hands.

"Banteer audiences demand the highest standard of drama with comedy being their favorite this requires the careful selection of plays under the direction of Tadhg O Keeffe."

Already this strategy has paid off as their Autumn production of the one act 'Marriage Plan' gained them the 'Best Overall Play' at the Ballincollig Drama Festival.

They followed that with a production of John B Keane's 'Sharon's Grave'. The works of the Listowel playwright feature significantly in the canon of the Glen Theatre as they're box office gold.

The Maiden Aunt runs for six nights only starting on Thursday 27th Friday 28th February and Sunday 1st, Thursday 5th, Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March.

Curtain's up at 8.30pm and tickets are €10. Book your seat at 029 56236.