King of the castle

Seán McGinley as Scobber and and Seána Kerslake as Tressa in King of the Castle.
Seán McGinley as Scobber and and Seána Kerslake as Tressa in King of the Castle.

Lifestyle – Seán McGinley, who played a key role with Druid Theatre in its early days, returns tafter an 11-year absence.  He talks to Judy Murphy about TV work in Canada, Eugene McCabe’s play, and being back in Galway.

“It’s a lovely bunch and a very good cast. The director is a bit dodgy, a bit inexperienced, but we’ll try and guide her!”

Actor Seán McGinley delivers his verdict in a deadpan way as he outlines how rehearsals for Druid Theatre’s next production are progressing. The play is Eugene McCabe’s King of the Castle and, of course, he finishes his sentence with a chortle, as the director he’s referring to is Garry Hynes.

Few people who know Garry Hynes as well as Seán, who became a lynchpin of Druid in its early days, after the company had been established by UCG graduates Garry, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally. Donegal-born Seán, also a graduate of UCG, who had intended becoming a teacher before acting took over, appeared in all the company’s productions back then. Most were directed by Garry, so he knows how excellent and exacting she is in that role.

It’s been 11 years since Seán worked with Druid, in Stuart Carolan’s controversial play, The Empress of India. A superb actor with a broad range, he hasn’t been idle in the interim, having divided his time between Dublin and Newfoundland, Canada, working mostly in theatre in Dublin and in TV in Canada.

Now he’s returning West, playing the lead role in McCabe’s King of the Castle, which he describes as “a timeless play about the fundamentals; jealousy greed vanity, all the things that will be with us for the foreseeable future”.

The King of the Castle in this play is ‘Scober’ MacAdam who acquired a Big House and farm in County Leitrim through greed and exploitation. But life isn’t all plain sailing as rumours circulate that Scober is sexually impotent. Goaded by gossip, he hatches a scheme to impregnate his young wife Tressa– played by Seána Kerslake, best known for her role in A Date for Mad Mary.  The cast also includes Marty Rea, Bosco Hogan, and Ryan Donaldson.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.