Sunday 15 December 2019

Billy and Pete bring Maynard Perdu to life

Pete McCamley in the title role
Pete McCamley in the title role

Anna Hayes

Fans of Billy Roche have much to celebrate at the moment. A new album of music, entitled 'Dead Man's Shoes' was recently released while his new play 'The Diary of Maynard Perdu' will be staged at Wexford Arts Centre this weekend.

Indeed, it is from Billy's musical endeavours that 'Maynard Perdu' came about, with actor and musician Pete McCamley the link between the two. Pete, who had read the novella and attended a reading of it years ago, approached Billy at that time about doing it as a one-man show but was turned down.

Last year, as Billy recruited his band for 'Dead Man's Shoes', along came Pete. As they were driving to gigs, Pete asked about the piece again and this time, Billy agreed, taking on the role of director as well. The duo spent four months, from September to January, scripting the play.

'It was an honour for me to sit with Billy and adapt his work, and have him use my creative ideas. That's the way it's been all through - a joint creative process,' said Pete. Billy is equally complimentary of his lead actor, explaining that his training and technique is key in what is an episodic, Brechtian-like offering.

Billy said of the character: 'He's a cad and a dream-weaver but ultimately a lost and lonely soul.'

Both director and actor hope that this four-night run will be the beginning of a bigger life for this play. The show runs on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Wexford People

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