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'It started out as a joke': Paul Howard on his musical about Copper Face Jacks

The musical is playing at the Olympia Theatre from 5 July.


THE ICONIC COPPER Face Jacks nightclub in Dublin is getting the musical treatment this summer.

Written by Ross O’Carroll Kelly creator Paul Howard, the show tells of a love story between a Kerry girl new to the capital and the captain of the Dublin football team.

“It’s basically Romeo and Juliet,” says Roseanna Purcell, the actress who plays Dublin newcomer Noeleen Ní Gearailt.

Howard says the idea started out as a joke. “Cathal Jackson, the owner of Copper Face Jacks, I think he was a bit bewildered [when approached with the idea].”

“But then we said, ‘you know there’s a film about the Moulin Rouge?’ And then he kind of got it.”

On why Coppers is so fondly thought of, director Karl Harpur says that the club “embraces everybody. Doesn’t matter what you wear, doesn’t matter what you look like. They [the club] just say come on in, have a good night.”

The show begins on 5 July at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre.

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