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Keith gets stage fright as Romeo son shines in his star-zone debut

YOU might think former Boyzone star Keith Duffy would no longer be fazed by opening night performances.

But he was suffering from a severe case of nerves when he attended the premiere of Corcadorca's Romeo And Juliet at the Cork Opera House.

Keith's son, Jay was making his theatrical debut as struck Romeo, and Keith said waiting for the 16-year-old to step out of the wings was nerve-racking.

"I was very anxious and nervous before he got on stage. I was almost wishing I'd brought a pillow from back home so I could hide behind it," Keith told the Herald. "I was even pre-empting that I'd have to have a chat with him afterwards about what his strengths and his weaknesses were."

But the proud dad needn't have worried. It seems that Jay was born to tread the boards.


"He was so comfortable on stage," Keith said. "I relaxed after the first few minutes. He was so comfortable and at ease up there. I was blown away."

Keith said that watching his baby boy play Romeo was an emotional experience.

"I got a bit teary-eyed watching him because you know he's my baby," he said.

"I mean I know he's six foot two, but you forget they grow up, and then suddenly there he is, playing Romeo and reciting Shakespeare in front of hundreds of people."

Keith and his wife Lisa and daughter Mia headed down to Cork for the opening night. The family are looking forward to spending a few days with Jay.

"We'll be in Cork till Sunday -- so we can spend some quality time with him," he said. "He's been away for the past three of four weeks and we all miss him terribly."

It's been an intense period for Jay, but Keith thinks the experience will stand him in good stead. "It's no easy trip, especially for a 16-year-old. There are eight shows a week. It's very intense. It's tough graft."