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Wilde time in Dublin for US star Stockard Channing

She may be playing the archetypal English lady — but American actress Stockard Channing will get an opportunity to research her Irish roots during her sojourn in Dublin.

The star of The West Wing admitted yesterday that things were getting a little confusing as she posed to launch her forthcoming run in Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest.

“Here I am, an Irish-American with other Irish people, doing an Irish play in Dublin about English people. Life is full of surprises,” said Channing.

The 66-year-old actress said that she hoped to indulge in a little genealogy while playing Lady Bracknell at the Gaiety Theatre from June 2-19. “My grandfather was from Cork and his family surname was English,” Channing said.

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