Cork says farewell to a theatre giant

Cork says farewell to a theatre giant

The late actor/director, Michael Twomey, whose funeral Mass took place today at St Michael’s Church.

The funeral mass of much-loved Cork actor Michael Twomey took place today at St Michael's Church in Blackrock today.

A presence on the stages of Cork theatres for more than 70 years, 84-year-old Mr Twomey was best known for his role in the classic comedy duo of Cha and Miah – in which he played the know it all character Miah to his great friend Frank Duggan's dimwit Cha. 

They toured the country extensively with the act with much success.

Mr Duggan led the tributes to his longtime co-star.

“He was a very modest man, he was very successful in the theatre but despite that, he had no airs or graces. He was a very ordinary guy and we always got on together,” Mr Duggan stated.

“His knowledge of the theatre was very profound, especially in the comedy-line. He was absolutely superb.

“I will miss his company,” he added.

Mr Twomey debuted on stage at the age of 11 in a production of Eugene O'Neills 'Ah! Wilderness' at the old Cork Opera House.  While at the age of 82, he played a lead in a production of 'The Outgoing Tide' at the Everyman Theatre, where he was a board member.

Both Mr Duggan and Mr Twomey were awarded the Freedom of Cork City in 2013 for their commitment and dedication to artistic life in Cork.

RTÉ released a video tribute to Mr Twomey recounting how Cha and Miah were immortalised in the classic TV show Hall's Pictorial Weekly as the act went national in the late sixties and into the seventies.

RTÉ TV and radio host Marty Whelan tweeted that he loved “Cha and Miah on the telly” as a youngster.

Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzpatrick described Mr Twomey as a “legend” while Everyman Palace board chair Denis McSweeney described him as a “valued elder statesman” of the theatre.

He was an “absolute gentleman” according to Everyman artistic director Julie Kelleher.

“Michael was a hugely supportive and highly valued member of our board for many years. His contributions were always intelligent and he balanced great passion and knowledge of the art form with a keen eye for the business side of the theatre also,” she said.

Mr Twomey is survived by his wife Marie, daughters and son, sister Mary, six grandchildren and extended family. His remains were cremated at the Island Crematorium in Ringaskiddy this afternoon.

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