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Revival at the King’s Head part three

Kevin Stoney played Bernard Kevin at the King’s Head. Kevin was, indeed, very different. Much lighter, much more tongue-in-cheek, much more optimistic. His reviews were good and – importantly – he pleased the author.

Jim Norton played the three wickedly mocked doctors superbly (as did Tony Doyle in the Dublin production) and Diana Fairfax reprised her performance as the actor-manager’s resourceful wife.

Diana’s is an interesting story. She was the actress wife of the celebrated and never-out-of-work Derek Godfrey, and felt (in the nicest possible way) that Derek never took her own career seriously. I had, originally, offered the parts of Bernard Kevin and his wife to Derek and Diana as a couple. I knew that Derek was a bit grand for pub theatre, but the King’s Head was making a helluva mark in show-biz circles, so…? Well, Derek toyed with the idea – a theatrical couple playing a theatrical couple – but in the end he decided he was just a bit too grand for working in the back of a pub – and that’s when Diana suggested I cast her anyway. I did.

John Grillo was superbly obnoxious as a thrusting theatre director.

The show worked well, as you’ll see from the reviews further down this page. So well, in fact, that the vultures – the big-time competition – began circling.

The extraordinary success of Mr Joyce raised author Tom Gallacher’s profile so greatly that we were selling out and attracting folk who smelt golden rewards for themselves (catch up with that in my book Are You Going to That Little Jump?)

Even stage super-stars like Sir Ralph Richardson were lured to sit through a performance of the play, tempted by the possibility of triumphing – in the West End – playing the part of Bernard Kevin. I had the most amiable chat with this great man, sitting in King’s Head squalor on the middle floor of the pub. To find out why Sir Ralph declined to be seduced into playing Kevin read Are You Going to That Little Jump?

You may have noted a review, above, written by B.A. Young covering the Dublin production. Young reviewed the play again at the King’s Head – and credited me with writing the play. I drafted a note here to disabuse him of his error.

Next time, variations on the man/woman thing.