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Fran has a brush with the past in new play

Former painter and decorator Fran Laycock will draw on his own experience for the lead role in a play in his native East Wall next week.

Not only will Fran act in the production of Brothers Of The Brush, he is also one of the driving forces behind the development of the Sean O'Casey theatre, which he now manages.

Fran also built the set for the play-- a black comedy by Jimmy Murphy set in the 1990s portraying a politician who bribes decorators to paint his home for free in return for a contract on another building.

The four characters in the production all have connections with the local community. Robert Webster works locally for Yahoo, Terry Fahy of FM104 used to live in the area and Robbie Sexton is an East Wall native.

For Fran, the production, directed by Dara Carolan of the Left of Centre Company, is the culmination of years of hard work on behalf of the people of the area.

Dara said: "Fran is definitely multi-skilled. He set up a parents' education group in East Wall and then formed a theatre company. Their amateur productions got such good reviews that he pushed further and became one of the driving forces to build a local theatre."

In addition to the theatre, which opened just over a year ago, the community centre has become a venue for a creche and all kinds of activities from football to yoga. They also provide lunch for up to 100 people every day.

Brothers Of The Brush runs until Saturday