The Goddess of Lust's visit to Kerry to be screened in St John's

Donal Nolan

Jayne Mansfield's infamous visit to 1960s Kerry will be revisited in glorious, full technicolour fashion on the big stage in Listowel on Sunday week.

'The Goddess of Lust' by Tralee's Mike O'Donnell receives its 'world premiere' at St John's Theatre and Arts Centre on Sunday, December 9 next (7.40pm), in what's sure to be another brilliant night of drama in Listowel.

Described as a comic drama, it mines the rich subject of the controversial 1967 visit of the Hollywood starlet to a Kerry starved of glamour and under the cosh of the Church.

And, boy, how that old-style cosh was felt when it came to the Catholic Church's reaction to the Mansfield visit - in particular one Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. Bishop of Kerry Dr Denis Moynihan awoke one morning to an urgent letter from his superior directing him to do everything to halt the visit of Mansfield to perform at the Brandon Hotel.

What followed can be enjoyed as comedy gold today in an event that made world headlines - the Church exerting its pressure in every possible way to avert the visit of a woman they dubbed the 'Goddess of Lust'.

Not even a visit by Mansfield to the church in Castleisland - where she lit a candle - could defuse the Church's ire, forcing The Brandon Hotel to pull the plug on the act, but not before Tralee and Kerry came out in its droves to welcome the star to the Kingdom.