The Dandy Dolls by George Fitzmaurice, one of Brian Friel’s favourite plays, premiered at the Abbey Theatre in 1969.
Roger Carmody spends his days making Dandy Dolls (like a poppet or a corn dolly), much to his wife’s chagrin. When he isn’t making Dandy Dolls, he’s out stealing his neighbour’s poultry. Every time he completes a doll it is stolen by the hag’s son and he has to begin all over again. A visit from the mysterious Grey Man, who takes interest in the dolls, seems to herald a change in Roger’s fortunes.
‘Perennially avant-garde – like the plays of Mr. Yeats – George Fitzmaurice’s The Dandy Dolls was given a knockout production by Hugh Hunt at the Abbey in the sixties. Hunt had been asked by Liam Miller – always a staunch supporter of Fitzmaurice’s work – to review the collected plays which Miller had just issued under his imprint, The Dolmen Press. Fired by enthusiasm, Hunt soon after wonderfully staged The Dandy Dolls, in a magical setting by Alan Barlow. Spooky, exciting, unsettling (what is going on here?), the production was a huge success and travelled afterwards to London.’
– Joan O’Hara, actor