Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director
O'Flaherty VC
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O'Flaherty VC

by George Bernard Shaw

The Tenth Vancouver Festival, Queen Elizabeth Playhouse, 12 July 1967

Also at the Mermaid Theatre, 14 September 1966, with a different cast, including Ian McKellen

See also stage history and extract from Shaw's Preface to the play

The scene: At the door of an Irish Country House in a park

The time: The summer of 1915

Private Dennis O'Flaherty Alexander Victor Henry

Born Leeds. Emigrated to Canada at the age of fifteen and spent some time in Toronto. There and on his return to England he had an assortment of jobs — ladies' dress salesman, working in a foundry making segs (metal shoe tips) -before being spotted by Clifford Turner at the Ilkley Poetry Reading Festival who suggested a course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. There he won a fencing prize and the Jenny Laird prize for the best performance in an unrewarding part. Repertory in Coventry, Farnham and Leicester followed. Whilst at Leicester playing the groom in Shakespeare's Richard II he was spotted for TV and played the lead in the series "Diary of A Young Man". He has played in Strindberg's "Easter" at the Everyman Theatre, Hampstead and Tom in the revival of "The Knack" at the Royal Court Theatre. He has also been to New York with "Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs". A film with Boris Karloff, "The Sorcerers", followed and he looks forward eagerly to making the film of "When Did You Last See My Mother?", the play that started with him in the lead as a Sunday show at the Royal Court and then transferred to the Comedy when he returns to England.

General Sir Pearce Madigan John McKelvey

Born Manchester. Made his first stage appearance in Montreal as an amateur. Turning professional, he toured Ireland for four years with Anew McMaster's Shakespearean Repertoire. A season at the King's Theatre, Hammersmith, followed. This was John's first introduction to Shaw, in "Arms and the Man". Becoming a director he spent some years at the Oxford Playhouse before his first West End direction — Ludovic Kennedy's "Murder Story" at the Cambridge Theatre. Seasons in South Africa at Cape Town and Johannesburg followed.

On TV he has appeared in "Cluff" and "Doctor Finlay's Casebook".

West End appearances include Bill Naughton's "All in Good Time" at the Phoenix, "Hostile Witness" at the Haymarket and the famous Alec Guinness/Simone Signoret "Macbeth" at the Royal Court in which he played Duncan.

Mrs O'Flaherty Marie Kean

Marie Kean, the distinguished Irish actress, was born in Dublin, and was a student at Dublin's Gaiety School of Acting. In 1947, she joined the Radio Eireann repertory company and in 1949 she went to the famed Abbey Theatre where she stayed for twelve years playing many of the greatest women's roles in the Irish repertoire.

In 1955, she was cast as Mrs. Kennedy in a radio serial "The Kennedy's of Castlerosse". 'Twelve years later, the serial is still running and Mrs. Kennedy is a national identity throughout the length and breadth of Ireland.

Miss Kean has enjoyed several other great critical triumphs on the London stage. In the controversial "Baal" she appeared with her close friend, Peter O'Toole — an association which was repeated in the revival of "Juno and the Paycock" Her most recent film part has been as the Princess Dashkoff with O'Toole in "Great Catherine".

Teresa Shivaun O'Casey

Though daughter of the famous Irish playwright she was in fact born and brought up in Torquay, Devon and has yet to play her parents' native Dublin.

After training under John Blatchley at the London Drama Centre she went into Repertory at Torbay. TV was soon to followsuch series as "Knock On Any Door" and "Man in A Suitcase".

At the Royal Court she has played in 'My Provincial Life" and "Shadow of A Gunman". She is now repeating her Mermaid Theatre performance of Tessie.

Her hobbies are gardening and "anything creative".

Directed by Peter Gill

Born Cardiff, Wales. Starting as an actor he played in the West End in "The Long, The Short and The Tall" and for the Royal Shakespeare Company as Sylvius in "As You Like It" He also appeared in the film "Zulu".

Turning to direction his career has been closely linked with the Royal Court Theatre where he directed Sheila Hancock in Ottway's "Soldier's Fortune", two D. H. Lawrence plays "A Collier's Friday Night" an "The Daughter-in-Law" and Joe Orton's 'Crimes of Passion". He also directed his own adaptation of Checkov's "My Provincial Life". He is now repeating his production of "O'Flaherty V.C." which he directed at the Mermaid. On returning to England his immediate plans are to direct a new Bill Naughton play "June Evening" and a D. H. Lawrence trilogy.

Production Staff for the Mermaid Theatre
Set Design John Gunter
Costume Design Shelagh Killeen
Lighting Design Andy Phillips
Stage Manager David Cross
Production Staff for the Vancouver Festival
Production Manager Ronald Pollock
Production Assistant Carol Arnott
Set Construction Al Baratelli
Ernie Wise
House Electrician Alexander McKillop
House Carpenter Thomas Haynes
Hairstyles and Wigs Hans Grumme Hairstyle Ltd, Official Hairdressers

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