A new production of 'Sive' by John B. Keane previews from tonight at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

A new production of 'Sive' by John B Keane previews from tonight at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. The play was first performed by the Listowel Drama Group in 1959 and took the amateur drama scene by storm. The plight of 18-year-old Sive and her aunt and uncle's attempt to marry her against her will to a rich old farmer is now regarded as one of the greatest Irish plays of the 20th century.

In this 'Newsbeat' report from 30 April 1968, Bill O'Herlihy asks John B Keane why he became a matchmaker himself when he castigated matchmakers so strongly" in 'Sive'. That, John B tells him, was an evil matchmaker, unlike the late Dan Paddy Andy O'Sullivan who charged reasonable fees and

He brought about two thousand people together

John B gets a lot of letters from men, especially farmers between thirty five and fifty five,

These men are hysterical for women.

In the meantime populations are dropping in every parish.

There is a certain kind of girl prepared to go into the farm, but she can't meet the right man either, and Keane blames the parents for this,

A lot of them wouldn't know what to do with a girl if they went out with her.

A 'Newsbeat' report broadcast on 30 April 1968. The reporter is Bill O'Herlihy.