MA deeply personal and intimate portrayal, this one-off programme gives us access to all elements of Mary’s life where, for the first time she opens up on topics close to her heart such as motherhood, mental health and the realities of being the biggest female selling artist in 1980s Catholic Ireland.
From her early beginnings growing up in a tenement on Dublin’s Charlemont Street to her international success with songs such as A Song for Ireland and Ireland’s biggest selling album of all time A Woman’s Heart, we chart Mary’s journey from childhood to celebrated, iconic Irish singer.
Mary Black features a wide array of those closest to Mary; her husband and manager Joe O’Reilly, children Danny O’Reilly (lead singer with The Coronas), Roisin Ó and collaborator Eleanor McEvoy. The rich performances include specially recorded numbers featuring The Black Family, Mary’s band (Bill Shanley, Pat Crowley, Nick Scott) with guest appearances from Steve Cooney and Máire Breathnach.
As the 30 Year anniversary of Mary’s bestselling album No Frontiers approaches we follow Mary behind the scenes as The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra re-imagine some of her biggest hits using her original vocals, a voice entwined with the fabric of Irish life. The documentary includes a rich tapestry of archive and voices including Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, Delores Keane, Van Morrison and Christy Moore.
This is a deeply personal insight into Mary, the woman as well as Mary Black, the entertainer and key figure who has been at the heart of Irish music and culture for over four decades.
Mary Black – No Frontiers RTÉ One, Monday 9th of September 9.35pm