Ladies Who Lunch

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Dying is easy, they say, comedy is hard. Glynis Casson and Irene Gaffney (pictured) are two performers who have been treading the boards for their professional lives and have lived to tell the tale: many tales in fact, with a warm and vivacious blend of humours.

Their latest project is Ladies who Lunch, a dark comedy show with a selection of songs. “It’s about two women,” Glynis tells NewsFour. “It’s about ladies who lunch, just as in the title. It’s quite dark, there’s a lot of bitchiness and ladies’ lies, sad stuff maybe, but it’s funny.”

Glynis and Irene are both from theatrical families. Glynis is the daughter of Christopher Gasson, the celebrated actor and singer, probably best known for his association with the Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir’s residency at the Gate Theatre, where he met and later married Glynis’s mother Kay O’Connell, an artist and stage designer. Glynis’s home is handsomely decorated with her mother’s artwork.

Irene is the daughter of Austin Gaffney, the celebrated singer and performer, perhaps best known for his role as Count Danilo in The Merry Widow. She recounts a fond memory of her wedding, where she was literally waltzed up the aisle to the Merry Widow Waltz, with father to hand.

Irene explains, “We both grew up in an era where the arts were part of public life. Irish artists were lauded. That said, it was seen as unusual for someone like my father to have put five children, myself and my siblings, through private school as a singer.”

Glynis concurs, “There was a feeling of insecurity growing up at times. Summer time could be difficult. My father would also teach. elocution, that sort of thing.”

Ladies who Lunch is being performed at Christ Church Sandymount on April the 6th as a fundraiser for the Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association. They are fundraising to sustain legal costs in the association’s on-going dispute with Dublin City Council, over the proposed sewage outflow pipe that was recently granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála. The pipe will – if implemented – undercut part of the coastal area designated as a conservation area.

Glynis and Irene heap praise upon their accompanist and musical director Maeve McSwiney. Irene gives an example of the collaboration. “I was going to sing a number called What I did for Love as a replacement for another song, but Maeve was very frank.

After a few tries, she just said ‘Irene, you can’t sing that song’ and she was right. It wasn’t personal, she was just right. So there is professional respect.”

“The material suits our voices,” Glynis adds. “We’ve done the show for the RDS private members, and at the K Club. It’s nice to have material that suits our ages and our voices. There are a few Sondheim songs in it. Wait until you hear Send in the Clowns”

Pictured: Irene Gaffney, on left, and Glynis Casson.
Photo by Paul Timon.

For details and booking, contact 086 373 1420.

By Rúairí Conneely