The Dandy Dolls are in town

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

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