Splinters Productions presents
Friday 29 April, 7pm and Saturday 30 April, 3pm (1hr 30mins)
Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR
Box Office: 0131 556 9579
FOLLOWING their popular success with Home to Neverland – A Window on J. M. Barrie, Splinters Productions’ renowned ensemble team of John Shedden, Anna Hepburn and Finlay McLean return with their own version of John. B. Keane’s hilariously unabashed classic, in an enthralling new version by literary director, Donald Smith, adapted from Letters of a Matchmaker by John B. Keane and published by Mercier Press Ltd.
The Matchmaker follows the story of Dicky Mick Dicky O’Connor who is determined to use all his cunning and intuition to hook up the hotchpotch of lonely hearts residing in his rural town of Ballybarra. The characters and their tales are a mix of comic, tragic, dramatic, and bizarre, and Dicky refuses to surrender hope despite his matches rarely leading to happy-ever-afters. John B. Keane’s linguistically rich script conjures up a delightful gallery of glorious eccentrics from a jovial five-foot, seven-stone former jockey to a concupiscent spinster, who all voice their hopes, dreams, desires, aspirations and exploits as the search for a match marches on.
Award-winning actor, John Shedden, is delighted to be bringing this fantastic piece of literature to the stage as he explains: “The appeal for me, Anna and Finlay to do The Matchmaker was the delightful gallery of eccentrics created by Keane which are fantastic to play out and develop as an ensemble, the rich language and the heart-warming, hilarious mix of humour and poignancy. It is a real classic celebration of Irish country people in their search for love. We feel audiences will respond to the very human stories presented and have a thoroughly good giggle.”
Keane’s work transcends the quaintness of the 1950s setting, and Donald Smith has pruned Splinters version to offer a more satirical look at both sexes, drawing out the touching, underlying quest for companionship which stings even more emotionally against the amusing sexual desires of senior citizens.
Donald is excited about the project and states: “Keane’s uproarious satire on Irish rural life has taken on a folktale quality and it’s just what is needed to cheer us all up.”
Says a spokesperson: “The Matchmaker is undoubtedly J. B. Keane’s most hilarious work, packing a theatrical punch that effectively lends a voice to the storytelling traditions of Kerry and Cork, and the recent revival of Keane’s play The Field in Dublin further highlights his observational writing style still holds relevance to current social and political climates all over Britain. But The Matchmaker is not just a piece of comic brilliance, as underneath the witty satire lies the strong sense of human need, with a powerful assertion to the importance of human contact which transgresses ephemeral social concerns.”
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