Actors will take the stage in Dublin, Ireland, next week, but don’t expect to see anything by Brian Friel or Sean O’Casey. It’s a commercial, a live commercial, by the city of London, in a bid to attract more visitors.
Pauline McLynn, who starred as the housekeeper, Mrs. Doyle, in the TV comedy series “Father Ted,” will appear in the 3-minute production on the stage of the Gaiety Theatre on May 16.
She and five other people will use dialogue to reproduce the sights and sounds of London, including its theaters and restaurants. The commercial will be performed later in Hamburg, Germany, and in New York and Pittsburgh.
“I don’t know why nobody has thought of it before, to have a live ad on stage for theater,” said McLynn, who will perform before a production of “Saturday Night Fever” at the Gaiety.
“It will be a real thrill for the people who are here, as 1,500 people are going to have been at a world first, they will be able to go home and say not only did I see a great show last night, but I saw the first-ever live ad.”
London Mayor Ken Livingstone said the commercial, produced by tourism group Visit London, highlights London’s theater industry because it is “a wonderful example of the capital’s creativity and diversity.”
Like other major cities, London suffered from the slump in air travel that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States.
But visitors have returned, and last year the city was host to 28.5 million visitors.