Minding Frankie – Preview by Frank L.
Gaiety Theatre – 6 June 2017 – 17 June 2017
Minding Frankie written by Maeve Binchy
In small suburban venues like the Viking, Clontarf, theatre is a different world. You see the same faces at most shows and they all seem to know one another. People go to every production that is on. It is their monthly trip to the theatre. The venue shows a wide variety of work, all with an impressively high standard. Last October, a two hander started life in this space, starring Clare Barrett and Steve Blount. The play has gone on an unusual journey. It received impressive reviews at the time and toured widely. Now it has just done the impossible, it has moved from the fringes to one of the biggest stages in the land, that of the Gaiety! It should come as no surprise that the writer of this play is rather well know. It is based on the Meave Binchy novel of the same name and adapted for the stage by Shay Linehan!
The play has a two week run at the Gaiety, beginning on 6th June. To launch the run, the producer Breda Cashe, hosted a delightful afternoon tea in the civilised surroundings of the Dress Circle bar of the theatre. It was all very much in character with Maeve herself, with freshly-cut sandwiches, scones, jams, cream and biscuits on all tables.
Maeve’s husband Gordon Snell spoke at the event, and he gave a glimpse into their working methods: they shared a space and at the end of the writing day, they each read what the other had produced. They had rules as to how any criticism was to be handled. The loneliness of the writer was not part of their world. Peter Sheridan, the director, also spoke and had a suitably Maeve-like anecdote to relate which had happened to him as he walked along Clarendon Street on his way to the Gaiety. The cast of the incomparable Clare Barrett and her foil Steve Blount were in attendance. It all added to the spirit of Maeve permeating the entire proceedings.