Elaine O’Dwyer stars in the play she wrote about Maureen O’Hara, and performs it at Mullingar Arts Centre on Thursday February 27 next.

O’Hara play author and star inspired by ‘#MeToo’ trend

This one-woman show coming to Mullingar Arts Centre on Thursday February 27 marks the centenary of the birth of legendary Irish actress Maureen O’Hara.

A star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, O’Hara’s roles often mirrored her true persona as a tough and courageous woman. O’Hara’s looks led Hollywood to dub her the ‘Queen of Technicolor’.

She was known for her roles in The Quiet Man, Miracle on 34th Street and The Parent Trap, played fiercely passionate but sensible heroines.

She held her own alongside Hollywood’s top leading men including long-time friend and frequent co-star John Wayne, who deemed O’Hara the “greatest guy” he ever knew.

O’Hara worked in what she called, a ‘male dominated Hollywood system’ and experienced first-hand the pressures of being a woman in such a cut-throat business.

Known for her fiery temperament, Maureen was not afraid to speak up about the injustices that she witnessed in the film business.

She was quoted in The Mirror newspaper in 1945: “Because I don’t let the producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me they have spread word around town that I am not a woman — that I am a cold piece of marble statuary.”

A frontrunner of the #TimesUp movement, Maureen spoke out in her time: “I wouldn’t throw myself on the casting couch, and I know that cost me parts. I wasn’t going to play the whore. That wasn’t me.”

About the show

The work is written and performed by Elaine O’Dwyer and is directed by Gráinne Byrne. Elaine is a Limerick born actress and writer who trained as a primary school teacher before going on to train as an actress at the Guilford School of Acting in the UK. She is based in London.

Elaine first performed ‘Queen of Technicolor’ in November 2018 at Belltable Arts Centre in Limerick, to mark the third year anniversary of O’Hara’s passing.

Elaine’s urgency to get the show on stage was triggered by the #MeToo and the #TimesUp movements, which correlated so much with Maureen’s story. In the play, within a stream of chronological and flashback scenes, Elaine portrays more than 20 characters, taking her audiences on a journey with Maureen and revealing the real woman behind the limelight.

The vanity case used in the show is the original case which belonged to Maureen O’Hara.

Tickets from 044 93 47777 and mullingarartscentre.ie.

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