THE Laois Open Door Theatre Company are getting set to stage their current production in Portlaoise, Raheen, Abbyleix and Ballylinan, and will also be performing in Dublin for the first time.
Ray Cooney’s ‘It Runs in the Family’, directed by David Corri, is a non-stop romantic comedy set in the doctors’ common room of a hospital. Joe Murphy, as Neurologist David Mortimore, sets the scene while rehearsing for a lecture that should guarantee him a knighthood. Mike Connolly, the young houseman, played by Paul Kenna wears his heart on his sleeve and is the life and soul of the hospital.
Rosemary Mortimore, David’s wife played by Roxanne Byrne, is the perfect match for David. Roxanne presents as attractive, ambitious, intelligent and above all in control. She is supportive and forgiving of David but has a few secrets of her own.
Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick, as Dr Hubert Bonney, makes the transition from being an insignificant, but enthusiastic, man at the beginning of the play, to emerge as hero and romantic lead towards the end.
Vinny Hogan, in stance and voice, is the consummate professorial gentleman and provides a masterful performance as Sir Drake, Chairman of the Board of Governors. Mary Delaney’s Matron is reminiscent of Hattie Jakes.
Anne Delaney’s interpretation of Jane Tate provides a subtle and nuanced performance as a courageous single mother. Jane provides much of the comedy but with a poignancy and warmth akin to the softer aspects of Mrs. Brown’s Boys. Sister, played by the talented Martine O’Byrne, resonates to the efficient, practical and caring nature of the nursing staff.
Leslie, played by Alana Phelan, is the heroine. Leslie, although slightly under-the-weather, steadfastly pursues her goal of finding her long lost dad.
Rory Chadwick plays the Sergeant who attempts to untangle a collection of “fairy tales” to get to the bottom of events. Bill an elderly patient played by PJ Mulhall and Noel Touhy, provides hilarious distractions and intervenes at inconvenient moments to disrupt David’s attempts to deceive. Bill wonderfully counteracts the pretentiousness of the “dense” doctors. Martine O’Byrne plays the Granny in Act Two. Martine’s portrayal of the kind elderly lady delighted to have a grand-daughter is a masterpiece. The result is a heart-felt comedy that lifts the spirits.
Anne Campbell, Edel Finnegan and Eadain O’Connell assisted in the production; Kieran Brosnan managed stage and props. Brian Nolan expertly designed the set, lighting and sound. The set was constructed by John Campbell, Eamonn Delaney and Eoin Cahill. Olive Delaney, Daisy O’Byrne, John Kavanagh and Eimear Corri worked backstage. Siobhan Cahill, Patrick Marshall and Catriona Marshall were Front of House.
The show will begin its tour on Saturday March 2 in the Community Hall in Raheen, and will then be heading to the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise on Friday March 8 and Saturday March 9. It will take to the stage in the Manor Hotel in Abbeyleix on Thursday March 21 before heading to St Anne’s Hall in Ballylinan on Sunday March 24. The final date for the production is on Thursday April 4 in Tallaght Theatre Greenhills Road.