Not so Wilde women and Rupert bare


THE SOCIAL NETWORK: SOME OF the women attending the opening of The Judas Kiss in the Gaiety Theatre on Monday evening were very coy. The same could not be said of the male actors on stage, most of whom were naked for extended periods.

The play describes the day Oscar Wilde decides to stay in England and face imprisonment, and, after his release two years later, the night when Bosie Douglas betrays him once more, in Naples.

Morah Ryan, the wife of the late Gerry Ryan, was the first of the shy women to arrive. A natural at dodging photographers, she did it with ease and aplomb. She was accompanied by the solicitor Ursula Courtney, who is married to Dave Fanning. The pair were joined a short while later by Ryan’s son, Rex.

The next of the shy women, Sen Marie-Louise O’Donnell, not normally known to hide her light under a bushel, also refused to have her photograph taken. There was a lot of cajoling by the publicist Gerry Lundberg, but to no avail. It was improvisation at its best and quite theatrical, with lots of gesticulation and loud shrills.

O’Donnell was catching up with the former RTÉ senior producer Seamus Hosey, who recently retired from RTÉ after 27 years. Hosey is contemplating writing a book and is currently going through “thousands of photographs”. Presumably he has one of O’Donnell, since they’ll be collector’s items in the future if Monday’s performance was anything to go by.

The last of the shy women was Gemma Maughan of the Gowan Group, a woman of importance in business circles. The multimillionaire, who is not long back from a trip to her native Italy, politely declined to be photographed by the assembled photographers.

Maughan’s late husband Con Smith founded the Gowan Group. He died in the Staines, London, air crash in 1972. She was accompanied by her second husband, Michael Maughan, and two of his nephews’ wives, Rebecca Maughan and Jenny Maughan.

Sarah Davis-Goff of the Lilliput Press arrived with her old school friend Rebecca Wardell of the British embassy. They both attended Headfort Preparatory School in Co Meath. Davis-Goff organised a book launch at their alma mater a couple of weeks ago. Your Children are not your Children: The Story of Headfort School, was written by the former headmaster of the preparatory school, Lingard Goulding. Davis-Goff said it was attended by 400 people.

Meanwhile, Freddie Fox (son of Edward Fox, who played the Jackal in The Day of the Jackal) as Bosie Douglas, Ben Hardy as Arthur Wellesley and Tom Colley as Galileo Masconi paraded around without a stitch on for some of the play. Rupert Everett played Oscar Wilde and hadn’t far to walk to the theatre, as he was staying in the Merrion Hotel.

Who we spotted Actor Stephen Rea; solicitor Michael Byrne from Tullamore; Brian Finnegan of Gay Community News; Susannah Jackson, the owner of Il Posto, and her friend Drew Flood; John Ryan of; Gay Byrne; Norma Smurfit; Noel Pearson; and Alan Amsby.