The Irish Mail on Sunday - - MORE -

Down­ton Abbey is still weav­ing its spell. Bren­dan Coyle (the ad­mirable Mr Bates in the TV drama), has such draw­ing power that his ap­pear­ance in Conor McPher­son’s one-man play St Ni­cholas at Smock Al­ley, as part of the Dublin The­atre Fes­ti­val, has led to the show’s run be­ing ex­tended for an ex­tra week to Oc­to­ber 20. Bren­dan Coyle last ap­peared in Dublin in 2002. Book­ing: Smock Al­ley, 01677 8899. Ma­rina Carr’s tragi/comic The

Mai, runs in The Ev­ery­man, Cork from Tues­day to Thurs­day Sept18-20. It’s an epic tale of three gen­er­a­tions of a fam­ily, in­spired by the ideal of love but shat­tered by the re­al­ity of life. Mai is a for­mi­da­ble 40-yearold teacher whose stan­dards of per­fec­tion re­sulted in her musician hus­band leav­ing home. In his ab­sence, Mai builds and dec­o­rates her idea of a dream home on the banks of a leg­endary lake while she awaits his re­turn, which comes af­ter four years. Mai’s sis­ters med­dle in her chil­dren’s lives and Grandma, a de­vi­ous con­trol­ling pres­ence, is a con­stant re­minder to them all that the past looms over the present. The Mai also plays as part of the Dublin The­atre Fes­ti­val in The Civic The­atre Tal­laght, Sept 25-29, and in The Mer­maid, Bray Oct 2-3, and Town Hall The­atre Gal­way Oc­to­ber 4-6.

EX­TENDED: Bren­dan Coyle in London pro­duc­tion of St Ni­cholas

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