A number of John B Keane's family were joined by Irish actors, including Frank Kelly and Mary McEvoy, to launch the John B Keane season in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre today.

The first play to be staged in the new season will be Moll which will preview on May 27.

Speaking to Radio 1's Cathal Murray at the event, Father Ted actor Kelly shared his view on Keane's work: "I think it's seminal. It's very important in the canon of Irish plays.

"He was a very subtle humorist and he was a very good commentator on the society that existed at the time and the kind of Church there was at the time. He wasn't bitter, he wasn't cruel, he wasn't irreligious but he was very funny and constructive, critically."

Keane's brother, Denis was present for the launch and he said that he comes "last, number ten of John B's group" in the family, in which John B was number "four" as there were "four boys, four girls and then two more boys."

Asked what he thought Keane would think of today's launch, he said: "I think he'd take it all in his stride. He'd probably say in the middle of it, 'I'd love a pint!'"

Asked what his favourite piece of work of his brother's is he answered: "I suppose, I like Sharon's Grave, about the hunch back and all. I like them all but Sharon's Grave has a special appeal to me."

John B Keane's son Conor was also present for the launch and he added: "He'd love this, he always loved the launch of a play, he loved the Gaiety and he was always chuffed that there was a bar in the Gaeity called after him."

For further information on the John B. Keane season, visit the Gaiety Theatre website here