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Friday, July 1

Killian Donnelly to star in Donegal at Dublin's Abbey Theatre

West End leading man Killian Donnelly is to star in Donegal by Frank McGuinness at Dublin's Abbey Theatre this October.

He is currently playing Charlie Price in Kinky Boots at London's Place Theatre until 13th August, when he leaves to start rehearsals for Donegal which opens on 6th October and runs until 19th November with a possible West End transfer being mooted.

Conall Morrison will direct the new dark drama comedy with music which is about Jackie Day, a cowboy who heads home from America to southern Ireland to help his struggling family.

Donnelly told the Mail. He goes away from Ireland to the States and becomes a big singer-songwriter,I think of him as having the kind of success that someone like Gary Barlow has. His mother used to sell out stadiums, but now she's reduced to playing smaller venues that hold 50, 60 people, if she's lucky. The family want Jackie to get them out of debt."

Donegal isn't a musical, it's  more of a play, with music. McGuinness, who likes country music which is very popular in Ireland, has written some numbers with Kevin Doherty, who performs with the band Four Men And A Dog. Donnelly said: I was asked:  Do you play guitar? Do you play piano?Yes, yes,'I told them. He will spend a lot of time with the creative team and cast, figuring out how to make the songs work in the play.

Apparently McGuinness saw Killian  in Memphis and wrote Donegal with him in mind. Donnelly joked that he had been offered the Killian Donnelly part.

Donnelly's West End roles include: Huey Calhoun in Memphis (Shaftesbury), Deco in The Commitments (Palace), Tony in Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace), Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's) and Enjolras / understudy Jean Valjean & Javert in Les Misérables (Queen's),

His credits also include: Collins in Michael Collins (Cork Opera House), Sweeney Todd (Gate Theatre, Dublin), Ethan Girard in The Full Monty (Olympia Theatre), Tony in West Side Story (The Solstice), Declan in The Wireman (Gaiety Theatre) and Rod in Singin' in the Rain (Olympia Theatre).

Booking opens shortly for Donegal

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