ONE of Mae Leonard’s favourite poems - and it’s not one of her own - is When I am Old I Shall Wear Purple.
That defiant piece of prose, against the sensibility of old age, has inspired Mae in allowing herself to be “a bit notorious”.
And so, at the age of 74 and three quarters, Mae will take to the stage in the former Belltable Arts Centre on O’Connell Street this month, with her own inimitable show.
The production is inspired by Mae’s memories of growing up in Limerick in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, before she moved to Kildare after she married.
But since then, her formative years in Limerick - especially in The Parish - have always informed her writing, from her pieces in the Evening Press and as a contributor to the Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio One for over 20 years, to her own books and short stories, which keeping on coming.
“I just love what I do,” Mae enthuses. “I get fan mail from Limerick people living all over the world. I had a glorious upbringing in Limerick, and I love seeing people’s reaction of taking them back to that time, when we didn’t have much money but didn’t consider ourselves poor.”
And when her show in Naas, country Kildare, received a standing ovation from a full house recently, her “wonderful director, the playwright Neil Donnelly” convinced her to take it to Limerick, though she admits her nerves are mounting as the big night on Friday, November 20 approaches. The show - which is divided into two parts - lasts almost two hours. Her latest work, My Home is There 3, was also recently launched in Limerick. Promised to an evening of storytelling, poetry, music, humour and fun, the night in 69 O’Connell Street, is, she says, the “first and last” on her bucket list. And she hopes it will be unmissable event for those in Limerick too. For bookings on 061-774 774.