WHERE else would a barber hold a party for his life’s work other than a barber shop? Figaro’s in Bedford Row served Bottom Dog Theatre Company with mischief when playwright Myles Breen threw open the doors to launch his play, ‘The Bachelor of Kilkish’.
Set “in a fictitious town, some where between Kilkee and Kilrush”, his play tells the story of a 65 year-old closet gay whose world is impacted when a dashing blade comes to town.
‘The Bachelor of Kilkish’ is Bottom Dog’s signature City of Culture creation. This company was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award 2013 for ‘What Happened Bridgie Cleary” in which Breen starred with nominee Joanne Ryan and Bottom Dog’s Pius McGrath. Hence the serious purse of c.€65,000 City of C threw at these Limerick based professionals for 2014 is about fleshing out vision and ambition, not blind belief.
“The idea came to me three to four years ago but with six in the cast, funding was tricky. Now having that, it forced me to write it and Bottom Dog’s attitude was, ‘we trust you’. Liam [O’Brien] is directing”, as he did Breen’s elegant, aching ‘Language Unbecoming a Lady’.
Myles Breen riffs back to seaside holidays spent in Kilkee all the time and “I was in Tramore once with a play off season and it was a completely other experience to summer, with all visitors gone. It changes the town completely”.
He describes his barber, central to the village, “as a constant observer. Gay, a bachelor. It’s about how things have changed for gay people in Ireland over the last 20 years but for some, the change has come to late”.
He and Liam O’Brien are thrilled to secure actor Brendan Conroy for the lead, a character actor best known to us as Tommy Clocks in ‘Pigtown’; we saw him last in 2012’s ‘Guerilla Days’, absolutely opposite.
The writer speaks of three older characters and three younger for the story, one of them Clare Monnelly of the Emmy winning ‘Moone Boy’ and there’s Deirdre Monaghan from ‘Game of Thrones’. There’s also a Coleen of Kilkish beauty pageant to lend credence to village people and the ripple effect of incomers on the status quo.
At Lime Tree Theatre, from Wednesday 11 to Friday 13, 8pm. Book online at www.limetreetheatre.ie