The Late Tom Hickey – and The Voice from the Ivy Leaf Audience

The late Tom Hickey in the role of ‘Him’ in the Michael Harding one-man play Misogynist with members of the Island Players, from left: Danny Broderick (RIP); Jean Horgan and Aidan Reidy at the Ivy Leaf Art Centre before the performance in 1992. ©Photograph: John Reidy 28-2-1992

The death has occurred of Thomas ‘Tom’ Hickey, South Circular Road, Dublin and late of Kildare.

Peacefully, in the tender care of the nurses and staff at Orwell Private Nursing Home, Rathgar, surrounded by his loving family.

Sadly missed by his son Lee, brothers Kieran, Tim and John B, sisters Phyl and Anne-Marie, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, extended family, former colleagues in the theatre community and a wide circle of friends.

Memorable Night in Castleisland

It is quite likely that Tom Hickey never forgot his visit to Castleisland’s Ivy Leaf Art Centre back in February 1992.

He was on the road at the time with playwright Michael Harding and his one-act, one man play Misogynist – which was on a tour of the country.

The crowd in the little theatre had settled down and the lights dimmed, the conversation halted and the curtain rose. But there wasn’t a sinner on the stage.

A Voice we Grew up With

Then, with a bustling sound from the theatre door behind our backs, came the familiar figure of the man himself and the voice we had all grown up with and become so accustomed to.

The unconventional opening to the play had taken us all by surprise and the surreal atmosphere it created was to be continued!

In his role as ‘Him’ Tom Hickey, sweeping brush in hand and busily flailing at the floor on the street side isle of the theatre, paused and looked in over the audience and asked: “Who am I.”

Up Against It

It was billed as a one-man-show but a voice from the audience on that side of the house replied: “Aren’t you Benjy – from The Riordans.”

Him put the brush on his shoulder and exited and, seconds later, entered again and took it from the top – and our man in the audience did likewise.

Knowing that they were up against it at this ‘stage’ both Tom Hickey and Ivy Leaf Director, Jerome Stack knew that it was time for a Plan B.

Name Carved Deep

This entailed Jerome taking the would be cast member to a local hostelry and keeping him there until the event could be played out without him.

While Tom Hickey got a rapturous and sustained round of applause at the end of the play, poor old Jerome didn’t get a mention for the performance he must have put in up town in saving the night at the theatre.

Tom Hickey certainly carved his name deeply across the history of Irish television and theatre over the years and up to the recent past. May God be good to Him.

Rest in Peace

A private family funeral will take place, in accordance with current government restrictions.Family flowers only please, donations, in lieu, to The Parkinsons Association of Ireland.

Funeral Mass Live-Streamed

The Funeral Mass for Tom Hickey may be viewed on Thursday,May 6th. at 12 noon through and select live stream link.

Date Published: Tuesday 4th May 2021. Date of Death: Saturday 1st May 2021.

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