Late Lunch Live TV3

Isabelle and I spent a very pleasant afternoon in TV3 chatting to Lucy and Martin about our forthcoming tour of Weighing In.  This show has done 14 weeks this year already in the Mill Theatre, the Civic, the Viking, and the Axis.  Our next outing is just before Christmas at the Mermaid in Bray on 17 and 18 December at 8pm.

Late Lunch Live dug out photos of Grabbit from Pajo’s Junkbox, Sister Assumpta from Father Ted gorging on chocolate and Isabelle with the cast of Glenroe.  Adrian cooked us some rather tasty chicken with a leek and onion dressing, and I’m afraid I spurned his hot chocolate and chilli drink.  Can’t win em all!  See the Weighing In Facebook page for details of tour dates.  Theatres include, Bewleys, the new Dolmen Theatre in Cabinteely, the Everyman in Cork, Droichead Arts Centre Co. Meath, Glor Co. Clare, Dunamaise Co Laoise, Galway Town Hall and the Ramor Theatre Co. Cavan.


Isabelle and Rose on the set of Late Lunch Live

Isabelle and Rose on the set of Late Lunch Live

Alzheimer Cafe

The Dominican Sisters have expanded a nationwide initiative which offers information and support to people with dementia and their families, with the launch of the 13th  Alzheimer Cafe on Thursday this week.

Fair City star Rose Henderson, whose father has Alzheimer’s, launched the newest Alzheimer Cafe in Santa Sabina House on the grounds of the Dominican Campus, situated on the Navan Road, Dublin.

The cafe offers information and support with an opportunity to socialise in an informal environment.  They are also attended by healthcare professionals and are combined with a presentation on an issue relating to dementia.

The new Alzheimer Cafe on the Navan Road will run on the first Thursday of every month from 7 to 9pm.  It is free of charge.  Alzheimer Cafes are located in Dublin, Kildare, Sligo, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork, Carlow, Kilkenny, Meath and Wicklow.



Books and Music

Two of Life’s Greatest Pleasures

Wednesday 5th November 2014

St. George’s Hall Dublin Castle


Rose Henderson and Bryan Murray read exerpts from novels which use music as their setting, which try to describe the process of musical expression or which try to put into words the effect that music has on our soul.

Novels include the Bible, A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry, Ghost Moth by Michele Forbes, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, the Pearl by John Steinbeck, Strumpet City by James Plunkett, Nora Webster by Colm Toibin, The Shipping News by Annie Proulx and Ulysses by James Joyce.

Music includes the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel, Ave Maria by Schubert sung by soprano Michelle Smith, Habanera from Carmen by Georges Bizet sung by soprano Eimear McCarthy Luddy, Paperback Writer by the Beatles, Duet from the Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet, sung by tenor Callan Coughlan and baritone Sean Boylan,  the Wedding March by Mendlessohn, Tis the Last Rose of Summer by Thomas Moore, sung by soprano Michelle Smith, Sailing By by Ronald Binge, and Love’s Old Sweet Song by J. L. Molloy sung by baritone Sean Boylan.  The Royal Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra accompanied with Seho Lee on piano, and they were directed by Elizabeth Csibi.

The programme was compiled by Rose Henderson with input from Jane Alger, Derek Seymour and Bryan Murray.


Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Libraries, Royal Irish Academy of Music, the OPW and Dublin Castle.


WEIGHING IN by Ger Gallagher

Directed by Caroline FitzGerald

Next Performances:  Monday 14 September – Sat 26th at 8pm – Dolmen Theatre, Cabinteely

Booking 087-1018202


The Easi-Slim diet clinic in Clones town hall has just signed up a new member.  Upwardly mobile Pam McGowan (Isobel Mahon) has cruised into town in her soft top sports car.  Pam has reached her target weight and has only signed up to maintain and brag about the four stone she’s lost.  Breda (Rose Henderson) has been attending meetings for quite some time but just can’t manage to reduce her waistline until Pam comes along and whips her into shape.

Breda becomes a disciple of the high-priestess of low carbs and is bowled over by just how fabulous Pam really is.  The jet-set lifestyle, perfect family and of course low calorie intake all point to the fact that Pam has a life every woman strives for.  However, when Pam’s mask begins to slip, Breda is reminded that things aren’t always how they appear.

Irish Mail on Sunday June 8, 2014

It’s a pity every lunchtime show is not as infectiously enjoyable as Weighing In (Mill Theatre, Dundrum until June 14) **** a delightful look at hysteria of the weight-loss industry.

Isobel Mahon gives a superb comic performance to bring the manically obsessive Pam alive, while Rose Henderson’s Breda is a great foil, with her enthusiastic but more balanced approach, and finally shows the advantage of never losing the human touch.

This two hander lets Rose Henderson (Breda) and Isobel Mahon (Pam) give a quality comedy turn, both looking relaxed and at ease playing against each other, and looking like they are having a fun time as well. Henderson’s stretching exercises moment is a wonderful example of physical, expressive comedy that by itself drew big laughs.

This is an entertaining piece, that will leave a smile on your face, particularly if you have ever gone to any of these meetings, as you decide what to do for the rest of your evening, if not the thought that you have seen something totally new and different.


Get yourself to the Civic Theatre in Tallaght to see ‘Weighing in’… A very funny play about the weekly weigh ins we’ve all experienced be it Weight Watchers or Slimming World or Unislim… It’s about an unlikely friendship that develops between two class members at ‘Easi-Slim’ …
I went with a really good friend and everything we had talked about an hour before the play at dinner …. was pretty much played back to us verbatim… Priceless!!! and if you can’t laugh at yourself all hope is lost!
It’s just over an hour long and you will laugh for most of it… and for the rest of it has that feel good factor that you get from a good friend who understands you… It’s a charming story about friendship and camaraderie… It’s about how people from all walks of life bond over syns and propoints… and it’s very very funny…
Big fat thumbs up from me but be quick it was a sell out in Dundrum the first time and the first few nights in Tallaght are sold out already!!!

Weighting in is a fast-paced comedy about life, love and dieting and how we all need to adjust the scales to find the right balance.

A Nightingale Falling by PJ Curtis, directed by Garret Daly and Marting McGlynn

A feature film set in war – torn Ireland in the early 1920’s which was filmed in Daingean and surrounding areas in July 2013

Set against a backdrop of a turbulent, war-torn Ireland in the early 1920’s, this is a story of three people and the unfolding events from a crucial time in their extraordinary and tragic lives.

It is a story of a household and its inhabitants caught in the crucible of the merciless politics, cruelties and hardships of the period. It is also a story of love, of broken hearts, entrapment, desperation, madness and of secrets revealed and darker secrets kept – even to the grave.

Starring Tara Breathnach, Muireann Bird and Gerard McCarthy, ‘A Nightingale Falling’ was filmed entirely on location in Co. Offaly.

It will be released later this year.

Teaser Trailer

The Ulster Orchestra has recorded a full, feature-length film score for the first time, joining only a handful of film scores to be recorded entirely in Ireland.Donegal-born composer Graeme Stewart wrote the music for the Mixed Bag Media film.    Stewart likened the score to “an emotional spectator of the film,” and described it as having “a lyrical and a pastoral quality, featuring woodwind and solo stringed instruments, while at the same time becoming much more symphonic when it needs to.  I got involved in the film after watching the trailer for ‘A Nightingale Falling’ and I just thought it looked like a really beautifully shot film; I was blown away by what Mixed Bag Media has created from PJ Curtis’ book,” Stewart said.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Gaiety Panto Directed by Daryn Crosbie

with Megan Cassidy as Snow White, David Glynn-Crowley as Prince Valiant

Rose Henderson as Wanda,

David Latham as Wally and Sharon Clancy as the Evil Queen

written by Maeve Ingoldsby and Cheech Maguire, with musical direction by Peter Beckett


This year’s Gaiety Panto was seen by over 75,000 people, was performed 78 times and was judged to be the most successful panto since 2005.  The run was extended due to popular demand by a week.


IMG_0373[1]   IMG_0404[1]

Sunday Business Post Reviewedby Garvan Grant

If a theatre has been staging pantomimes for nearly 150 years, you imagine it knows what it’s doing.  And when it comes to Christmas pantos the peopt the Gaiety really know what they’re doing.

Yet again they’ve come up with the goods in this entertaining and funny production.  If the purpose of a panto is to keep children entertained for a couple of hours while also making sure that parents don’t get bored, then this is panto at its very best.

Megan Cassidy and David Glynn-Crowley are wholesomely spot on as Snow White and Prince Valiant, while Sharon Clancy is melodramatically terrifying as the Evil Queen.  The comic turns are provided by the brilliant Rose Henderson and David Latham as Wanda and Wally who sing dance and crack jokes throughout the entire performance.  The Seven Dwarfs really come into their own with a stunning setpiece called Dwarfversity.

Backed up by a large ensemble cast, great costumes and a fantastic set, the Gaiety has nailed it again, and a production like this could easily hold its head high in London’s West End.


The Herald

Review Fiona Dillon

The Gaiety Theatre’s Christmas panto offering is a cracker this festive season. It is a classy looking production..  The pyrotechnics and lighting are used to good effect, and the sets are elaborate and change frequently keeping the attention of the kids, and the cast certainly catered to their target audience.  The children booed, they clapped and they sang to their hearts’ content.

Much of the huour came courtesy of two cast members and the script had flourishes that were right up to the minute.  David Latham, who played the role of Wally did a mean Nidge from Love/Hate and Rose Henderson who played Wanda the queen’s beautician also had some of the best lines.

The theatre has hosted the annual Christmas pantomime each year since 1873.  Its something of an annual pilgrimage for many families, both Dublin and nationwide.  And there’s a really good reason for that – its a fun two and a half hours.  So if you get the chance, go and enjoy.



8 x 10 at the Pavilion Theatre

Directed by Conall Morrison

8 ten minute plays set in DunLaoghaire, written by Rose Henderson, Kevin Gildea, Celia DeFreine, Michael O’Meara, Shay Linehan, Ivy Bannister, Michael Casey and Gerard Dalton.

When Conall Morrison was artist in residence at the Pavilion in 2011, he put out a call for new playwrights in the area.  8 were chosen from over 100 manuscripts submitted and these playwrights met for a year working on their own plays and studying classic works. In an attempt to stimulate new work, they have each written a 10 minute play which showcased in front of a packed live audience last Saturday at the Pavilion.

Pop Up Tosca

Norman Hewson (owner) and Aongus Hanly (chef) re-open Tosca Restaurant for one night only in Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar on Fri 26 October.  Over e31,ooo was raised  for Self-Help Africa and former waiters, waitresses and kitchen staff travelled from Australia, Argentina and Athlone to reunite for this special occasion.  Rose Henderson emulated wine critic Jilly Goolden in an appreciation of the sumptuous food and glorious wine.


Fair City

Rose is now appearing in Fair City, RTE’s soap, which shows Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and Sunday nights, with repeats in the afternoons.  She plays Val O’Dwyer, assistant manager of the new Phelan’s Spar.  She often lands herself in trouble for straight talking and meddling in other people’s business.  After Christy crashing into her car and burning a hole in her blouse, they have formed a stable relationship – but this is a soap – will it last?  And when will she find out that her son Eddie, the financial wizard and apple of her eye, was not working in the Seychelles but in prison?  RTE 1 8pm, and on Real Player.

According to Sydney by Gerry Lynch

Directed by Caroline FitzGerald, and Starring Rose Henderson

By popular demand!  “According to Sydney” is coming back to the Mill for two weeks 23 May to 3 June Mon to Fri @ 1pm. 10 performances only.  Book early to avoid disappointment 01-2969340 – 

Tickets €14 includes sandwich and coffee

Sunday Times – Eithne Shortall – 20/2/2011

Ruth’s husband of 20 years has died and she is angry, not at death for taking Sydney away but at herself for putting up with him for so long.  Sydney had strict views about everything, from declining social behaviour to why Ruth’s shoes had to be dull in colour. 

Sitting on a park bench, Ruth (Rose Henderson) remembers the other woman who turned up to her husband’s funeral wearing red heels.  Ruth’s fury relates not to sexual betrayal so much as images of herself at home giving in to Sydney’s strict views, and his Swedish mistress enjoying herself on his business junkets.  Ruth feels she has been taken for granted, and after years of suffering in silence, she is finally ready to vent.  It’s worth giving her a hearing.

Irish Theatre Magazine – Derek West – 18/2/2011

The studio at the Mill is an unprepossessing cuboid; the set for According to Sydney uninspiring (a garden bench and some scraps of ferns to denote a park) so there is little to prepare the lunchtime audience for the animation that Rose Henderson brings to the space.

The energy derives from a number of things:  Gerry Lynch has written an intelligent piece, and for suburbanites everywhere, a piece that trades in the familiar.  Lynch cut his playwright teeth on radio, so while the action is static, the writing sparkles with sharp observation – “domestic dialogue was not an option”, a glorious pun on Orwell, the writer and the road in Rathgar; “I grew tired of being wrong”; “It was hell having him at home”; “Life is like a subject for an exam”.  Behind the cozy and local lies a degree of discomfort.

Ruth has lost her husband of twenty years to a stroke.  Now she’s half-heartedly doing 2.5 circuits of the park for her health (she’s a diabetic) and in every sense she’s clinging to the edge.  She pauses on the bench to confide in the strangers before her.  Her narrative is of Rathmines, trim lawns, a hatred of pigeons, murder mysteries – Morse and Frost – the Buttery in TCD, musicals and crooners, accountants and auctioneers and the minutiae of medical complaints.  At one level it’s what one might overhear in the shopping-centre coffee shop.  Its authenticity gives it traction, but the familiarity masks a menace.

Through Ruth’s narrative, the other main character – the invisible, deceased Sydney – emerges from behind the bourgeois facade as a monster.  He is portrayed as a man who liked clarity of thought and purpose; hated fiction, loved history; reacted with tyrannical irritability to certain colours; had a fastidiousness that led him to hand-wash his own socks and to favour cremation – on grounds of hygiene and of economy.  (She buries him, nevertheless, a minor revenge.)  The convention of a long marriage barely conceals the condescension, the sneering and the bullying.

Rose Henderson’s portrayal of Ruth is spirited, lively, and full of facial and verbal nuance.  Director Caroline FitzGerald, with a lightness of touch, has allowed the actor plenty of room to develop the portrait of an interesting lady and to animate that neutral space.  Henderson makes Ruth bright-eyed and positive.  Is it the exhilaration of new-found release, or is it the brave face of the desolate widow?  Really Sydney sounds so awful she’s far better off without him, but the twist in the plot is that “another woman” came to the funeral, and this has dented Ruth’s assurance.  (“Did I know him at all?”)

There’a a psychological honesty about the piece.  It presents a patina of normality, the polite desperation of the middle-classes, locked into arrangements that drain away the spirit.  Deceits make it bearable: it seems that Sydney – incredibly – had a mistress; Ruth squirreled away some of the money she inherited from her mother.  Scandals around marital failures (the son’s wife gone to California with a nusician; her dentist brother-in-law decamped with the dental nurse) are hushed up.  While Ruth can now buy the pink, comfortable shoes she wants, contemplate a ciggie or munch chocolate (in one excellent, timely moment the Kit-Kat becomes a kind of comfort blanket) and while she relives with some glee the way she taunted the despised spouse, just prior to demise, with oblique references to her first love – her victory is somewhat pyrrhic  She wonders if she helped him on his way (the sub-title is “..maybe I went too far in the end!”) but, as she strides off to the 45 bus-stop, there doesn’t seem to be a lot to her new-won freedom.

Mail on Sunday – 20/2/2011

It was nice to see a full house for the launch of a new lunchtime season at the Mill, Dundrum.  The small Studio at the Mill gives a sense of intimacy between the performer and the audience that suits a one-woman play. 

The story is narrated by Ruth, a woman who recently buried her husband, Sydney and who is just beginning to feel the pleasure of release from his petty tyrannies.  He was the ultimate killjoy, a fussy pedantic bore for whom his wife became almost invisible, except when she was interrupting his History Channel of documentary programmes.

As played by Rose Henderson, Ruth is a chatty outgoing character, intelligent and lively, who will hop happily from subject to subject and who enjoys the simple pleasures of reading, gardening or watching television for entertainment.  She’s obviously a well-educated woman, condemned to live life through the deadening dictates of the all-knowing, all-wise and ultimately hypocritical Sydney. 

Since he had high blood pressure, should Ruth have looked after him or let it help him on his way?  And who was that woman with the red shoes at his funeral? 

This is an enjoyable 50 minute piece and Rose Henderson plays Ruth with a nice mixture of annoyance, resignation and humour.