Roche play gets the red carpet treatment
Well-known actors, politicians and writers attended the opening night of Wexford playwright Billy Roche's one-man play The Diary of Maynard Perdu in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin which finished a six-night run on Sunday.
The show directed by Roche is based on his novella of the same name and stars the actor and musician Pete McCamley who draws the audience into the burlesque world of the Spiegeltent where fantasy and delusion reign supreme in a tale that has been described as 'The Elephant Man Meets the Catcher in the Rye'.
'Game of Thrones' actor Aidan Gillen was among those who turned up to support the production. Gillen started out his acting career with Billy Roche whose play 'A Handful of Stars', part of the Wexford Trilogy, was his first professional job.
Gillen will be seen next in 'Bohemian Rhapsody', a new film about Freddie Mercury which is due for release in November in which he co-stars with the Wexford actor Dermot Murphy who plays Live Aid founder Bob Geldof in the movie.
Dermot who was inspired to become an actor after being selected by Billy for a role in his play 'Amphibians' when he was 12 years old, also attended the Dublin opening night. He recently starred in the film The Drummer and the Keeper.
Among the writers who turned up were Dermot Bolger, Jimmy Murphy, Bernard Farrell, Carmel Harrington and Catherine Ryan Howards along with the actor Anthony Morris and Labour Party leader and Wexford TD, Brendan Howlin who described the play and Pete McCamley's performance as a 'tour-de-force'.
The Wexford backstage crew of Mark Redmond on lighting, Terry Byrne on sound and stage manager Aileen Donoghue who is Pete McCamley's wife, travelled to Dublin with the production.Reviewers have highlighted McCamley's star turn in the show with Chris O'Rourke of the Arts Review describing him as engaging the audience 'with a towering performance' while Laura Marriott of The Reviews Hub wrote that 'McCamley displays great ability as he switches characters and accents, monoeuvres props and turns the stage into his own' and gave the play a four star review.