THE WAY OF THE WORLD by William Congreve, Rough Magic, Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Lady Wishfort in Congreve’s ‘The Way of the World’, is one of my favourite roles. This production was directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin before it was renovated .
It reminded me of an incident at the first preview. I was doing a scene with Mal Whyte ( playing Waitwell, disguised as Sir Rowland) – where we circled a stool – a predatory and comic love scene. The production was in the round. During the scene I was supposed to leave the stage and pick up an essential prop – a letter -from the prop table upstage right. But all around was darkness, and we took an extra half turn around the stool, and when I exited, I found myself, not at the prop table – but out at the box office- the opposite corner. Hysterically I yelled ‘ I’ve got to have a letter’, they stuffed a random envelope in my hand and back I went and handed it to Anne Byrne who was playing Foible . We opened it, and it turned out to be a good luck card for her for opening night. We all just about managed to keep it together, and after that I paid close attention to the amount of times we circled that stool.
DRAMA AT INISH by Lennox Robinson, Abbey Theatre, Dublin
My sister Jane Bennan and I in Garry Hynes production of Lennox Robinson’s ‘Drama at Inish ‘ at the Abbey Theater, Dublin .
American actor Carroll O ‘Connor ( Archie Bunker etc.) who was a friend of our Dad’s came to see the production, and quizzed us about our hairstyles. We told him the wigs were chosen by the designer. He said pithily ‘ In America an actress would never let a designer tell her how to wear her hair ‘ – we were left in no doubt, that he thought the styles were extremely unflattering .
BARBARA BRENNAN 13/05/2020