Drimnagh Castle

On Thursday I spent the morning at Drimnagh Castle.  I had to walk through the grounds of ‘Drimnagh Castle Christian Brothers Schools’ to reach the site of the old castle.

It is a Norman castle, the only remaining castle in Ireland with a flooded moat around it; this moat is fed by a small local river, the Bluebell. Today, the area around the castle & grounds, is swallowed up by schools, industry and housing.

I did manage to take a look at the grounds, there were ducks in the moat, but most of my time was spent indoors in The Great Hall dressed like this:

Do you like my dress

Do you like my dress

This castle is OLD. Yes, even older than me!

Hugh de Berneval established a castle at Drimnagh c.1215, that is not the time, but the year. 😉 The Berneval family were in residence for more then 400 years. It was one of the oldest continually inhabited Castles in Ireland, until 1954 and is an outstanding example of an old feudal stronghold.

Drimnagh Castle

Drimnagh Castle

So why was I there all dolled up in a floor length dress? I hear you ask.

To answer that question, I need to go back in time.

NO! Not almost eight hundred years, but to my last visit to Dublin during the month of May 2014.

It all began when my friend Elfrieda Carroll posted a link on facebook:

Mind the Gap Films
12 May

CASTING CALL! – 3 female extras, playing age 70+, no tattoos, dyed hair or piercings. Email fran@mindthegapfilms.com by 1pm on Thurs 15th May.

Being in a giddy mood, I shared the link with the comment: ”I could do this without the make up! Pity. I go home on Sunday”.

Padmini Natarajan, a well seasoned performer of stage and screen, way over in India, jumped in with a comment: Postpone your return…apply now.

My reply to her was: “ No can do, Major appointment booked for 21st & elections on 22nd.

Elly chipped in with: ‘…no tattoos, dyed hair or piercings’, Mother (she never calls me Mother.) that might mean appearing in the altogether!

Well, I would not do that. Not because I am prudish, but because my body goes dangerously cold at the speed of light. Even in this glorious weather, I bring a jacket to the supermarket.

I did a little investigation and discovered:

Actors & Extras needed for history/comedy sketches in the Dublin area in June. Adult men & women of all ages required. We also have two roles for male teenagers. Sketches will feature in a new series for RTÉ. Please send your CV & Headshot to fran@mindthegapfilms.com by 1pm on Thursday 15th May. NB: As these sketches are history based we cant cast anyone with tattoos, hair dyed unnaturally or piercings that cant be removed.

Nurse Hitler need not have worried.

Over a cup of coffee and a chat with Buffy, I composed my email…

Hi Fran,

I saw this call out on Facebook this morning. I would love to give it a shot.

My name is Marie Parker

I am sixty seven and could well fit your bill without the make-up! LOL.

At five feet six inches I am considered to be of slim build about 9½ stone in weight. The once glorious Auburn tresses, nature has seen fit to turn silver

In Dublin until early Sunday Morning, returning home to County Antrim, where I have engagements booked for 21st & 22nd May.

Enclosing two photos:

1. With make-up and wearing glasses


Attempt at Selfie- wearing make-up & glasses

Attempt at Selfie- wearing make-up & glasses

2. Without make-up on a bad day.


Me on a bad day without make-up or glasses

Me on a bad day without make-up or glasses

I await your reply with curiosity.

A reply came winging my way:

Thanks so much for getting in touch. Could you come in to audition at 11.10 on Friday? I’ll come back to you to confirm that as I just need to check it with the Director but it looks good to me.”

So that is how I ended up sitting on the banks of the Grand Canal, by Baggot Street bridge with a Toyboy. I was early for my appointment, so sat down to rest and calm my fluttering heart. The audition seemed to go well.

When I switched on my phone, after the very important appointment on 21st May, I found an email:

Dear Marie
Thank you for auditioning, we’re delighted to offer you the role of xxx. Shooting is provisionally scheduled for Thursday 19th June but may change so please keep your availability flexible for those weeks (3rd -6th and 16th – 20th June) or inform us as soon as possible of any conflicting commitments. Shoots will take place in or around Dublin, locations to be confirmed, and will require availability during business hours.

Could you please provide the following details for costume purposes:
Shoe Size:
Dress Size:
Shirt Size:
Trouser Size:
We look forward to working with you and will be in touch very soon with further details.
Kind regards

I wrote back again.

Hi Fran,

Since Thursday 19th June was mentioned at my audition, I rearranged my appointments, and moved them forward to the first week of June, leaving the other dates free on the off chance I might be successful in the allocation of parts.

They accepted that, and I was given the details for the Shoot.

Thursday 19th June
Call time: 09:05 – 12:00
Hair/makeup/costume approx 09:05 – 09:45
Shoot approx 09:45 – 12:00

The shoot went well, and we wrapped about ten minutes before noon.

By the way….


25 thoughts on “Drimnagh Castle

  1. Nancy L.


    Congratulations on your film debut. I’m certain your future holds a theatrical award ,which is why I am writing.

    I shall be available to write your acceptance speech when you accept your Oscar , Palme d’Or, IFTA or RTE awards.. Not to mention a Golden Globe..

    There will be no charge because you are my friend of many years. Just contact me as soon as they notify you…Oh, never mind,it will be in all the papers and on TV.

    See you then.


    1. Grannymar Post author

      Nance, you are a hoot! PS, Don’
      t breathe a word about it to our friend. I’ll surprise her when I’m given a date for broadcast. 😉

  2. wisewebwoman

    Gawd Marie I should cast you in a joint Newfoundland/Irish production. Dying to see your debut 🙂
    Too late to tell you to break a leg, but seriously, well done!!!

    1. Grannymar Post author

      WWW, I’d say it will be part of the winter schedule, but if you catch the series Do not blink, or you will miss me.

  3. Al

    I’m thrilled for you and proud to say I correspond with a bona fide screen star. I would add only one admonition…..don’t forget those of us who knew you when.

    1. Grannymar Post author

      Al, the programme will not be aired until the autumn, anything might happen in the meantime…. I might end up on the cutting room floor. I enjoyed the whole experience and a bird’s eye peek at what goes on behind the scenes.

  4. Three Well Beings

    I am so glad I didn’t miss this post. What a very fun opportunity to do something totally outside of your daily norm. I think it would be very fun to be an extra. You will hopefully NOT end up on the cutting room floor. And maybe this will even open new possibilities–you never know! 🙂

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Debra, I am making the most of my second childhood and doing things I never had the chance to, in my first childhood! It was all good fun.

  6. Padmini Natarajan

    I take a bow! Fabulous….I knew you would bag a role….speaking part….holding a lance or lantern….curious…and nothing ventured nothing gained as the Nuns used to tell us. Where and when can we see you on screen…this could be the start of a new career as a model/actress….in fact you look like the Medici queen married to King of France in the series ‘Reign’ telling the story of Mary, Queen of Scots…..maybe they will recruit you for an the queen’s role in later years. Congrats. Ideating always helps.

  7. Grannymar Post author

    Padmini, The series is due to go to air in the late autumn on RTE, the state television station, in the South of Ireland.

  8. Pingback: Have you ever been on the Box? | Grannymar

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