Here's to you, Mrs Sweeney


THE thunderous rain of Wednesday night added a suitable, air of imminent disaster to the premiere of Rough Magic's Mrs Sweeney - the drumming on the roof of Project at The Mint could easily have been a particularly realistic sound effect in playwright Paula Meehan's setting, Maria Gorretti Mansions. The weather didn't deter the die hard Rough Magic fans however and the play opened to a full house.

Paula's partner, Poetry Ireland's Theo Dorgan, was there with his sister Margaret, and chatted happily in the interval with Maire Mac Conghail, genealogist and mother of the aforementioned Project director Fiach. Most of the Rough Magic mafia turned up including general manager Siobhan Bourke and artistic director Lynne Parker as well as playwright Declan Hughes and Helene Montague.

Tom McArdle, producer of Glenroe and father of Mrs Sweeney director Kathy McArdle, came along with his twin brother, playwright, John McArdle. The Project's general manager, Toni Coghlan was enthusing about their new space north of the Liffey in conversation with the British's Council's Harold Fish. Actors Mal Whyte and Morna Regan came along to enjoy the show as did Jimmy Fay, who is working on a stage production of The Melon Man for the Peacock.

From Dublin Corporation came arts officer Jack Gilligan and Pat Boran, Dublin city writer in residence, he is bus organising a series of readings for Bloomsday on June 16th. Writers including Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Dermot Bolger, Leland Bardwell, Joe O Connor, Paula Meehan and Boran himself will all be performing in St Ann's church on Dawson Street to celebrate the meanderings of Leopold Bloom.

After the performance cast and audience headed over to The Left Bank, in Temple Bar, for the post premiere party, to which actors Tom Hickey and Darragh Kelly and The Ark director, Martin Drury, came along to make sure rain didn't stop play.