This is the third time Des Keogh is appearing in a show based on the writings of John B. Keane at The Irish Rep in Manhattan. The first was The Matchmaker, in which he starred with Tony Award-winning actress Anna Manahan, then the acclaimed one-man show The Love Hungry Farmer in 2003, which has since been touring the world and won Keogh a Best Actor Award at The Edinburgh Festival.
Confessions of an Irish Publican is another collaboration between Keogh and Irish Rep artistic director Charlotte Moore.
This latest adaptation from the "Celebrated Letters of John B. Keane," according to Irish Rep, "has all the hallmarks of Ireland's late great playwright and humorist. Martin MacMeer is the Publican, the proprietor of the tavern known as Journey's End in the village of Knockanee, in the county of Kerry. Martin is a confirmed bachelor but his status is threatened by two females; one an 18-year-old schoolgirl and the other an older woman of the world. He tells of their impact on his life in his 'Confessions.'"
At the same time, "Martin introduces to us a number of his colorful customers who are in the habit of unburdening themselves to him. Not a customer but a colorful personality nonetheless is the local parish priest, who treats us to some thought-provoking sermons throughout the evening and the Reverend Mother of the local convent is not short of sharing some words of wisdom."
Moore's most recent directing assignments were Gaslight, Meet Me in St. Louis, Mrs. Warren's Profession and Mr. Dooley's America, plus Finian's Rainbow at Westport Country Playhouse and Irish Rep. Keogh has worked with all the major Irish theatre companies, including the Abbey, the Gate and Druid. He has also played at England's National Theatre and the Royal Court in London. As a member of American Equity, he's appeared in The Plough and the Stars (The Irish Rep, the O'Casey Theatre Company), Dancing at Lughnasa and Forty-Four Sycamore (Asolo, FL) and Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Portland, OR).
Confessions of an Irish Publican will be performed in the W. Scott McLucas Theatre and runs concurrently with The Master Builder, which is now at the upstairs Irish Rep Main Stage.
Performances of Confessions play Wednesday–Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM.
Irish Rep is located at 132 West 22nd Street. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling The Irish Repertory Theatre box office at (212) 727-2737. For more information visit www.irishrep.org.