Bedhopping and globetrotting at Gate opening night
Daniel Stanford, Alan Stanford, Doireann Garrihy, Aoibhín Garrihy, Ardal O'Hanlon, Melanie O'Hanlon, Garry Hynes and Cathy Belton at the opening of Bedroom Farce at the Gate. photographs: mark stedman
THE SOCIAL NETWORK:The Gate Theatre in Dublin opened its production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy Bedroom Farce on Thursday night. “We’re regulars,” says Delia, in the first scene, about a restaurant. “We go there every year.” Likewise, the Gate regulars were in full attendance for the opening, as were a host of theatre folk who had managed to gather before they head off on various international tours.
Muireann Ahern of Theatre Lovett was there to support her husband, Louis Lovett, whose character spends the whole play in bed. “A perfect role for him,” Ahern said, laughing.
They are soon taking their acclaimed family production of The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly on a six-city tour of the US. The trip includes two weeks at the New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street, New York, where Sarah Jessica Parker and her family are regulars. It is already sold out.
The comedian and actor Ardal O’Hanlon was being modest about his next journey, jokingly calling it “the big UK tour”. He is also involved in a new play in London, which is seemingly top secret for now but begins rehearsing in March. He attended with his wife, Melanie O’Hanlon.
The director Garry Hynes, one of many Galwegians in Dublin for the night, soon heads off on tour with DruidMurphy. The actor Cathy Belton’s mother, Anna Belton, had also come from the west to see the play. Cathy was stopped by every passing actor, designer and director, who congratulated her on nominations for both an Ifta and an Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for best actress.
The artistic director of Galway Arts Festival, Paul Fahy, also made the journey; he was driving home later that night. His parting words to the Gate’s director, Michael Colgan, were about the need to bring more Beckett to Galway.
Colgan entertained his friends and Gate regulars in the hospitality room and the theatre bar at the interval, and was showing pictures on his phone of his daughter Sophie’s recent wedding at Marlfield House, in Gorey, Co Wexford.
Laura Bowe, who owns Marlfield House, said it was a great wedding.
Who we spotted:The playwrights Conor McPherson and Declan Hughes; the Fair City actor Aoibhín Garrihy and her sister Doireann; the theatrical Brennan family, including Barbara Brennan and her niece Kate Stanley Brennan; the casino owner Albert Sharpe.