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