Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Milo O’Shea in Rough For Theatre I

The late Milo O’Shea excels alongside David Kelly in Kieran Walsh’s short for the Beckett on Film series.

Wed, Apr 3, 2013, 14:59


We were all saddened to hear of the death of Milo O’Shea. He is, of course, best known for a string of comic performances that exploited his warmth and flexible approach to even the most familiar line. He was Durand Durand in Barbarella. He was a strange child-man in the venerable TV series Me Mammy. But he also excelled in straight plays on Broadway, on the West End and in his home city of Dublin. Some years back, I asked him whom he was most excited to meet.

“Oh, Johhny Gielgud, I suppose,” he said. “I can remember we were on a tour with the Gate and I was in my dressing-room when there was this knock on the door: ‘Hello, it’s Johnny Gielgud.’ And I said: ‘Oh sure. And I’m Larry Olivier.’”

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Anyway, his talent for farce and his grift for tragedy came together nicely in Kieran Walsh’s film of Samuel Beckett’s Rough for Theatre I for The Gate’s Beckett on Film series. He appears opposite his old friend David Kelly (who also left us recently). Take the time to immerse yourself in its brilliant misery.