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Luck Penny - Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

LUCK Penny, by Aisling Foster, receives its world premiere at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, where it runs from June 11 to July 8, 2013.

Moscow 1948. Dr Brendan Regan, old friend of Eamon deValera, is on a secret mission to return some Russian Crown Jewels.

The jewels had been taken back to Ireland by deValera in 1920 as collateral for a loan he made to a small party of Bolsheviks, who were travelling around the United States trying to raise funds for post-revolutionary Russia.

The Irish revolutionaries were on the same assignment. They raised many millions of dollars while the Russians collected almost nothing.

At the end of the Second World War, both their governments are poles apart, making the friendship and loan an enormous political embarrassment for both sides.

Lucky Penny is based on real events. Official papers documenting the return of the jewels were released by the Dublin government in 1993.

Award-winning local director, Cherry Cookson, directs a cast that includes Sheila Ruskin (as Mrs Audrey Francis), Peter Dineen (Dr Brendan Regan), Howard Lee (Anton), Mark Straker (Dimitri) and Holly Morgan (Irma).

Sheila Ruskin’s theatre credits include Steaming (West End) and Dead Eye Dicks directed by Peter O’Toole. She has also appeared in the films Persuasion, The Dogs of War and The Medusa Touch. And her extensive TV credits include I Claudius (original cast), The Lost Boys, Silk, A Touch of Frost, Doctors, Midsomer Murders, Holby City, Dr Who, Minder and Rumpole of the Bailey.

Peter Dineen’s many stage roles include Professor Higgins in Pygmalion, Sgt. Rough in Gaslight, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Monsignor Jose Laboa in Devil’s Advocate, Richard Harkin in The Seafarer, Davies in The Caretaker, Hugh in Translations, Jack in The Weir, The Man in Saint Nicholas (Conor McPherson’s solo play), Krapp in Krapp’s Last Tape and Father Jack in Dancing at Lughnasa.

He has also appeared on television in Doctors, Judge John Deed, Coronation Street, Father Ted and seven different episodes of The Bill.

Tickets: £15/£12 – available from the box office on 08444 77 1000 or from Ticketweb.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinee at 3.30pm.