‘Catch Me If You Can’ returns to the local stage.

Athlone writer brings comedy favourite back to local stage

Popular Athlone playwright Margaret McKenna Mullan sees one of her old comic plays, Catch Me If You Can, return to the local stage at the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, next week, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 17 and 18 at 8pm.

“Paddy the Painter comes to paint the house of the cantankerous Mr Looby and the two Looby sisters, and one of the sisters is man mad and thinks she has a chance there,” said Margaret laughing. “The whole cast including Paddy the Painter are so excited and can’t wait to see everyone again for a good auld laugh.”

Catch Me if You Can was the fifth of writer Margaret McKenna Mullan’s plays, and was a smash-hit locally, as were her other plays.

The play stars Anne Hoey, Seamus McKenna, Paul Slevin and Paddy Broder and Margaret McKenna-Mullan herself makes a special appearance.

“Ray Collins helps us out with voice coaching, and Ray is a great man for the stage, and has always been a great man to support local people,” said Margaret.

Joe Macken and Margaret’s husband, Tommy work on behind the scenes of the stage show.

During the three lockdowns, Margaret didn’t get out and about meeting people, and she admits she found that she found it tiring, but still did some writing and watched television.

“I did watch a lot of television which gives me some ideas, and I liked the auld fellow in The Royle Family and I love watching Corrie and in particular Maureen Lipman, who is hilarious, and who plays the woman that works in the shop,” said Margaret.

Margaret was very proud when her last play, ‘All For the Love of Mammy’, was sold out in Moate’s Tuar Ard.

“Our poster said ‘Sold Out’ and it was beside a poster of Pat Shortt, who was also sold out, and that was great to see,” she said.

Margaret said that All For the Love of Mammy was a tribute to her late mother and despite it being a comedy; it’s also a play about Alzheimer’s.

She reveals that she has been working on two different new plays and says that they are half-written with the endings in her head. Her next play has a working title of ‘The Crooked Man’ and there is also another one, ‘Money Talks’, also in the works and both will be comedies.

“We’ll be in the ballroom of the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, with plenty of distance and tables, and so this will be our third time lucky to go on stage, because we had to cancel over the various lockdowns.”

Margaret is a native of Assumption Road, Athlone and is married to Tommy Mullan from Derry. Margaret and Tommy are the parents of four grown-up children, and four grand-daughters.