KILLINASKULLY actor Pascal Scott will step into the shoes of the late actor Mick Lally in the acclaimed production of The Matchmaker, the Herald can reveal.
The Glenroe star, best known for his role as Miley Byrne in the long-running series, passed away at St Vincent's Hospital last Tuesday morning after a battle with emphysema.
The 64-year-old father of three, who was laid to rest after a ceremony in Newlands Cross, had recently reunited with his on-screen wife Mary McEvoy for an acclaimed performance in the John B Keane classic.
After receiving rave reviews, the cast were due to bring the production to other venues including Dundrum's Mill Theatre, the Helix in Glasnevin and Waterford.
However, his passing threw the future of the show into chaos, as producer Michael Scott had to make a decision on whether to continue it or not.
Now Pascal Scott, who played Sergeant Dick O'Toole in Pat Shortt's comedy series, has been given the leading role in The Matchmaker as he takes over the role vacated by Mick.
"As the saying goes, the show must go on but they're going to wait until next February to resume touring it," said a source.
"There was a huge scramble in the immediate aftermath of Mick's death, first to deal with the shock of it and then to decide on what would happen with the rest of the dates left in The Matchmaker tour.
"It was eventually decided that they should carry on with it, it's what Mick would have wanted. It will be quite sad for the entire cast and crew, particularly Mary but she wants to it resume as well."
The late actor's friend, who played his wife Biddy in Glenroe, initially thought they might put the whole production to rest in the wake of his passing.
She said when she first heard about his death, it took a while to sink in -- as she was convinced she was going to see him this month when The Matchmaker returned to the stage.
But her producer convinced her that the late actor would have preferred the production to carry on.
"I said to Michael Scott, 'let's not do it' but he said 'I think we should because I think that's the very thing he would want' and it is true," she explained. She went on to describe her stage pal as "great fun" and a "consummate actor".
"Mick and I loved each other and we got on really well. For months we'd go without talking or speaking because we'd both be doing something else. But when we got together, we just picked up where we left off and got on with it. I enjoyed his company very much," she said.