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F E ATUR E come to Garter Lane

life smothered by oppressive rules and conventions. The two friends are expelled from their boarding school, and they rebel against the codes of behaviour expected of them in small town Ireland where modesty and decorum are all important.

The girls flee to Dublin where Kate gets a job in a chemist’s shop and Baba signs up to do a secretarial course. Naive and reckless, they are intoxicated by the bright lights of Dublin and get caught up in a whirl of flirtations and misadventures, during which Kate falls in love with a middle-aged man. While the content is hardly scurrilous by today’s standards, there remains a societal suspicion and mild disapproval around relationships involving young girls and older men and so the themes are still relevant and universal.

Red Kettle was delighted to take on this challenge and it has been all systems go since the announcement in August.

Award winning Mikel Murfi was chosen as director and casting commenced. Well known names from Irish television and stage along with the cream of local professional actors were cast.

Waterford actress Holly Browne and Caoimhe O’Malley play the central characters Kate and Baba. Peter Hanly who recently appeared in the critically acclaimed television film, Brendan Smyth: Betrayal of Trust, but is probably more widely known as Edward, Prince of Wales in the Hollywood blockbuster Braveheart or Ambrose Egan in TV’s Ballykissangel, has been chosen to play the pivotal role of Mr Gentleman.

Charlie Bonner (The Tudors), Simon Boyle (Abbey Theatre), Georgina Miller (The Clinic and Pure Mule), Aileen Mythen (Zombie Hotel), Rachael Dowling and Waterford’s own Michael Power make up the full complement expected to bring this piece to life. With such an

Holly sure to be a hit

Having just finished with the Red Kettle Theatre Academy, young Waterford actress Holly Browne starts her very first professional job this month.

No stranger to the Waterford stage, Holly has performed with various theatre companies down through the years and has given audiences a number of spectacular performances including Juliet in Romeo & Juliet and of course everyone’s favourite Annie.

Taking on one of the leading roles in Edna O’Brien The Country Girls, Holly says, “It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so lucky to have the part.”

Going into rehearsals in Dublin was very daunting for Holly, who is a self- confessed home-bird. “When I started the first week, it just hit me that this is a real job. I’ve never done anything like this before. Everyone is here to work and are so committed, it’s a very positive environment. But by the second week I was feeling way more comfortable and now realise this is an incredible job and I just love doing it. I can’t believe I’m actually getting paid to do this!”

Working with director Mikel Murfi has been one of the highlights for Holly. “He is great to work with. He is sensitive to the story we are telling and ensures that we as actors have a deep understanding of our characters and their back story, which makes me feel more comfortable and confident about telling this story to an audience. During rehearsals, I can

experienced and diverse cast, Mikel Murfi and legendary designer Ben Hennessy are hoping to create the most talked about event in this year’s theatrical calendar countrywide.

News from the rehearsal room is very good and anticipation is steadily building. The play opens in Garter Lane Theatre in Waterford city on October 14th and runs until November 5th. It will then move to Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre from November 7th to 12th. With a three week run at Garter Lane, the Waterford audience has a great opportunity to see this play, but be warned, news from the box office is that this is a show selling out fast; don’t miss out and book early.

Tickets are priced from €15 and are

available from the Garter Lane box office on 051-855 038 or

see that he never stops thinking. He is a very positive person to be around and very enthusiastic. I can’t speak highly enough of him - he’s the business!”

Identifying with her character Kate isn’t too much of a stretch for Holly, who admits, “I really could be both girls, when I go out and meet my friends I guess I’m like Baba, but when I’m myself I feel inside I’m more like Kate. This play is really special to a lot of women who read it in the 60s and it’s important to treat it with respect. I’m really excited to be able to give this to people.” Holly is really looking forward to coming home and performing to a Waterford audience. In fact, she jokes that herself and fellow actor Michael Power, who is also in the play, are like a tourist board for Waterford while staying in Dublin and she says she has no plans to make it a permanent move.

“I’m such a home bird, so I’m just taking it as it comes. I have the perfect situation where I can separate my home and work life. I’ve no plans to move permanently to Dublin. I don’t feel at a loss for making that decision because Waterford is always home.”


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