Friday, 10 September 2010


"We did five shows, each got a week of rehearsal and then straight on

to the stage. 'Louder and faster' was the only direction he gave us.  A year later I joined the Abbey company and had to come down about ten octaves.  But I'd not have missed McMaster for all the world."

That was TP's verdict on the brief, but vital, season he spent as part of the company of Anew McMaster when he played in five productions including the roles of Horatio in Hamlet, Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew and Albany in King Lear.

McMaster was an actor-manager in the grand 19th Century tradition and in the post-war years he was singly responsible for bringing the works of Shakespeare to the Irish in put-ups on fair greens or in draughty parish halls.

Certainly he had been key in lighting the spark of drama in the person of the young TP who had seen him perform in Cavan when he was a dreamy fifteen year old.

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