John B Keane’s novel The Successful TD at the Civic

JOHN B Keane’s famous novel The Successful TD is coming to the Civic Theatre in the form of a play starring Mary McEvoy and Jon Kenny.

According to McEvoy who is known for playing the infamous Biddy Byrne from the TV series Glenroe, it is “very cynical but very funny”.

successful td brochure

The play written in 1967 revolves around the misadventures of TD Tull McAdoo, his eccentric wife and faithful daughter as he attempts to get re-elected into the Dáil during the October Elections.

McEvoy said that she is attracted to “strong female characters” which Keane’s plays embody and that if asked, she would rather play “a gangster’s wife than a quintessential Irish Mammy”.

She emphasises that you don’t have to be interested in politics to enjoy this play and she describes it as being about “the people and their lives” during the elections of the 1960’s.

The play took one year to put together according to McEvoy who has starred in a number of Keane’s productions including The Matchmaker with Jon Kenny and The Field.

McEvoy said that the most challenging aspects of the production was playing multiple characters at once in a two-man play. Deriving a play from the novel was also a difficult transition she said.

“I’ve never done a direct book adaptation” said McEvoy in describing her experience of turning letters between Tull and his wife into dialogue suited to a play.

Although the story is set in the 1960’s, McEvoy firmly believes that the plot could be adapted to this political generation, “if you just change a few names and references, it is exactly the same”.

The play has already been running since January but McEvoy says that they are constantly tweaking it and making improvements, it is “not the exact same show as it was 3 months ago”.

One thing she can assure the audience is that be it cringe-worthy moments or character quips, “you’re going to laugh right the way through”.

You can also catch McEvoy in Alison Spittle’s new RTÉ comedy Nowhere Fast.

The Successful TD will be in the Civic Theatre on September 8 and 9.

Tickets cost €21 and the show starts at 8pm sharp.

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