In 1991 following a sellout performance of the Brien Friel play 'Dancing At Lughnasa', Abbey Theatre actors Rosaleen Linehan, Catherine Byrne, Bríd Ní Neachtain, Dearbhla Molloy and Bríd Brennan appeared on 'The Late Late Show'.
The play had already received great acclaim at London's West End and following a three week Abbey Theatre run, the cast are heading to Broadway in New York.
The 11th Patrick MacGill Summer School was devoted entirely to Brian Friel. The Abbey cast performed the 'Dancing at Lughnasa' for the honoured writer in Glenties Comprehensive School, County Donegal, not far from where the play is set. For the production the actors performed without their usual costumes, theatrical lighting or sets and Rosaleen Linehan who plays the part of Kate found the experience moving and upsetting but also,
The most important... theatrical performance...I would ever have done.
Catherine Byrne who plays the role of Chris felt the performance in Glenties meant a lot to Brian Friel.
It's thrilling to be going to Broadway, but to do it in Glenties...if they don't like us on Broadway that's their loss.
Equity ruling states that the cast can play on Broadway for a twenty week duration before they must be replaced with American actors. Linehan is convinced the play will be a huge success and they will be staying for the full 20 weeks, although in the worst case scenario they could all receive two weeks notice.
The play has a universal appeal and is already being performed in Germany and Norway with a Japanese production in the making.
This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ presented by Gay Byrne was broadcast on 13 September 1991.