'O'Donoghue's Opera' is a unique and hilarious film starring Ronnie Drew and his band of bohemian merrymakers who include 'The Dubliners' and other favourite Irish musicians of the time like the McKennas and Johnny Moynihan.
Made in 1965, Ireland's first musical was never completed due to financial difficulties and remained unseen until veteran filmmaker Tom Hayes brought the out-takes to Sé Merry Doyle who painstakingly restored the gem and launched it at the 1998 Dublin Film Festival.
Based on the ballad 'The Night That Larry Was Stretched', sung by a young Johnny Moynihan, Ronnie Drew finds himself caught in a hangman's noose as a reward for his dubious career as "the best burglar in all Ireland".
The film which is tongue-in-cheek (all the way) has the flavour of an Irish Spaghetti Western and captures the spirit of Dublin camaraderie like no other work before or since. The Guinness, the music, the wit and the grit, its all there in abundance.
It says it all, when we see Ronnie fully decked-out in his stripy burglar outfit, trying to evade the law by disguising himself with a pioneer pin.
Since its launch, 'O'Donoghue's Opera' has quickly achieved cult status and has become a sought after nugget for film festivals throughout Ireland and Britain. Soon to be broadcast on RTE.
Source: Loopline Films