She be­came a house­hold name thanks to Fa­ther Ted, but there’s a lot more to Pauline McLynn than Mrs Doyle, as Phil Pen­fold dis­cov­ers.

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

T has been a bit of a strange af­ter­noon for Pauline McLynn. She’s tak­ing time out be­tween per­for­mances to have a chat, and she’s still rather be­mused at the an­tics of some of the au­di­ence in the ear­lier mati­nee. It turns out that three ladies in the front row of the stalls were all wear­ing sun­glasses.

“Now what was that all about? Sun­glasses? In a dark au­di­to­rium? And the woman next to them, in act one, de­cided to have a bit of late lunch, and she pulled out a chicken leg. In­cred­i­ble.” She puts down her sec­ond large cup of cof­fee and adds: “To their credit, all of the ladies stood up and gave us some very warm ap­plause at the end of the show, so they must have en­joyed them­selves.”

McLynn is cur­rently tour­ing with the ac­claimed live ver­sion of Ayub Khan Din’s drama East is East, a largely au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal ac­count of a fam­ily in Sal­ford in the 70s. There’s the Asian dad Ge­orge, who is dom­i­neer­ing to the point of be­ing tyran­ni­cal, white mum Ella, and their six chil­dren. A sev­enth boy has left home to es­cape his fa­ther. It’s a story of con­flicts, ar­gu­ments, be­liefs, a clash of cul­tures and a lot of love and af­fec­tion as well.

“I’m told that Ayub based a lot of it on his own ex­pe­ri­ences, and I think that shows in the way that it is writ­ten. I adore Ella, she has a heart of gold, and she’s fiercely pro­tec­tive of both her hus­band and the kids, so when he and they ar­gue, and he lays down the law (as he sees it) she’s right in the mid­dle of it all.

“She sees where they are com­ing from, but – as she tells them at one point – she’s mar­ried to their dad, and she loves him too. It’s a won­der­ful twist of loy­al­ties.”

The ‘real’ Ella met Ge­orge when she was a bus con­duc­tress, and he was a pas­sen­ger… they got to­gether, and they de­cided to get mar­ried.

CRAGGY IS­LAND’S FINEST: Pauline McLynn along­side fel­low Fa­ther Ted stars, left to right, Fa­ther Dou­gal (Ardal O’Han­lon), Fa­ther Ted (the late Der­mot Mor­gan) and Fa­ther Jack (Frank Kelly).

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