Dunshaughlin actor Redmond makes Irish stage return

Story by John Donohoe

Thursday, 13th September, 2018 6:02pm

Dunshaughlin actor Redmond makes Irish stage return

Aidan Redmond.

New York-based actor Aidan Redmond, a native of Dunshaughlin, returns to the Irish stage for the first time since 2000, in Marina Carr’s 'The Mai' which goes on national tour beginning in Draiocht Arts Centre in Blanchardstown on Saturday 15 September.  It is also part of the Dublin Theatre Festival, with performances in The Civic Theatre from 25th – 29th September.
Redmond came to playwright Marina Carr’s attention when she travelled to New York earlier this year to see another of her plays in the Irish Repertory Theatre.  Impressed by his performance, she recommended the actor to Andrew Flynn, who directs The Mai for his Decadent Theatre Company.  
The Mai is an epic tale of three generations of a family inspired by love but shattered by inescapable reality. It is both wildly funny and humorously tragic.
Blessed is Aidan Redmond amongst women:  He is the only male actor in a cast of eight.  ‘’It’s a bit terrifying,’’ he admits with a laugh. ‘’There’s no-one else to share the responsibility of showing the male perspective.  But it’s also a huge pleasure and honour to work with these seven incredible women actors.’’
The play centres on a formidable forty-year-old woman, a teacher known as The Mai, whose husband Robert [Redmond] has always felt stifled by her ideals of perfection. After seventeen years he leaves her, whereupon she sets about decorating a dream house in the hope that he will one day return to her. From her fairy tale castle set in the midlands, on the banks of the legendary Owl Lake, The Mai waits by the window for him to return. The play opens in this world on the day of Robert’s return after an absence of four years.
Throughout Mai’s and Robert’s troubled reunion appear the memorable characters that comprise the three generations of her family. There are her two sisters meddling in the affairs of her three daughters with comical tenacity while towering above them all is the irreverent matriarch, Grandma Fraochlain, who presides over all with her “ancient and fantastical memory”, reminding them that the past is looming over the present.
Redmond’s fellow actors are Lesley Conroy, Derbhle Crotty, Maeve Fitzgerald, Stella McCusker, Rachel O’Byrne, Marion O’Dwyer, and Joan Sheehy.
The Meath native trained in the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College.  In a change from his successful career as a stage, film and television actor in the US., Redmond will have ample opportunity to revisit his home country as The Mai tours Ireland. It previews in Draiocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown on Saturday 15 September and in the Everyman Cork on 18, 19, 20 September.  The official opening as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival is in the Civic Arts Centre from 25 - 29 September.  It then tours to the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray [2, 3 October] and the Town Hall Theatre Galway [4, 5, 6 October], supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhailre Ealaion.