1 9 7 2 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
This late-night series of tales from BBC1 aired on Monday nights between 10 April and 29 May 1972.
The “Lazy Acre” was a quiet area by the Grand Union Canal in Dublin where sat Dead Man (David Kelly). Over a drink, he told various stories which were acted out by Milo O’Shea, playing a different character each time.
O’Shea’s characterisations included a short-sighted pick-pocket who tried to move into the big time in order to win his girlfriend’s hand in marriage (‘The Pick-Pocketer’); a civil servant with 12 daughters who believed enough was enough (‘The Bitter Pill’); an alcoholic grocer whose friends, family and customers cured him with shock treatment only to find they liked him better when he was drunk (‘Stone Cold Sober’), a shy, henpecked barber who sold his soul to a Satanic gentleman in exchange for victory in a pint drinking contest in order to win the favours of the blonde and brassy barmaid, Mrs Gaynor, played by Yootha Joyce (‘The Last Great Pint-drinking Tournament‘), an elderly judge (‘Judgement Day’) and a young Presbyterian minister who tries to convert a gypsy woman (‘The Travelling Woman’).
Unfortunately, the luck of the Irish was not present here and – despite terrific performances from O’Shea and Kelly – the series was a flop.
David Kelly passed away after a short illness on 12 February 2012, aged 82. Milo O’Shea died on 2 April 2013 in New York City. He was 86.
Stevie Fortune/Mossy Noonan/Matty Mooney/Charlie Mahood/Mr Rushe
The Pick-Pocketer | Judgement Day | Stone Cold Sober | The Bitter Pill | The Last Great Pint-drinking Tournament | The Culchie | The Travelling Woman