Reviews

January 16, 2020

**** 

Real Wild Child 

Forget Storm Brenda, or Brendan, or whatever storm is currently lurking on the horizon. Storm Emily is about to hit and you’d better batten down the hatches. In Irene Kelleher’s critically acclaimed "Gone Full Havisham,” one woman’s wedding night turns into a nightmare of biblical proportions, live streamed on social media from the honeymoon penthouse in her father’s hotel. If Kelleher’s story doesn’t quit...

January 15, 2020

**** 

Every Mountain Climbed 

Before the iconic movie version took the world by storm in 1965, “The Sound of Music” had already been taking the theatre world by storm since 1959, winning several Tony Awards in the process. Now, over sixty years later, “The Sound of Music” returns in a brand new production. Built on a rock solid foundation of spectacular set, superb story, strong performances, and even stronger singing, “The Soun...

January 9, 2020

*** 

Hymn to Him 

Feargal, from Cork, is an alcoholic. The child of alcoholics, it’s all he’s ever wanted to be. But he’s grand, really. Outside of risking wet brain, his crushed self esteem, being a victim of domestic violence, and not being able to get through the day without a can in his hand. But come Christmas he’s going to turn it all around and go on a fun run with the turkey. He may even sing with the choir in front of h...

December 12, 2019

*****  

In the Absence of Angels 

Simple is rarely simple. The more the appearance of effortlessness, the more demanding the artifice that makes something look easy. Like Collapsing Horse’s utterly divine "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Based on Gabriel García Márquez’s short story of the same name, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" follows a kind of Little Miss Dynamite and her sidekick, Silent Boy, as they work l...

December 11, 2019

*** 

The Show Must Go On 

T’was the night before Christmas, 1938. In The CBS Studios a frantic Orson Welles is rapidly rewriting Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The legendary Lionel Barrymore, having withdrawn at the last minute, has put Welles in a bind. Cancel the annual broadcast, replay the one from last year,  or take on Barrymore's role of Scrooge himself, along with the role of narrator. In Paul Nugent’s "Orson Welles’ Christ...

December 5, 2019

**** 

On the Six Plays of Christmas  

Christmas crackers usually fall into two categories. There’s the lightweight, flimsy duds where half the joke is missing, the paper hat tears upon contact, the surprise proves to be a big disappointment, and if it takes an arm wrestler to pull it apart, it still doesn’t deliver any kind of bang. Then there’s the loud, explosive cracker with its hilariously bad jokes, well made hat, and top n...

December 3, 2019

*** 

Between a Here and a There 

Misery loves company in Samuel Beckett’s "Endgame." And hates it at the same time too. In Beckett’s 1957 play from the end of the world, a world without end just keeps on going. A world where giving life an existential purpose is perhaps the most meaningless act of all. A world where God doesn’t exist, yet is held implicitly responsible for the suffering and drudgery He passes off as life. Meanwh...

November 27, 2019

**** 

A Bonfire of Vanities 

Inish, County Cork. A town so emotionally staid it’s in mouldy blue need of a scandal. Several of which are duly delivered following the arrival of a touring thespian troupe. Invited by local hotelier, John Twohig, to help put Inish on the map, lovies Hector De La Mere, and his wife Constance Constantia, are engaged for an illuminating season of serious tea-ay-ter, designed to educate and elevate Ini...

November 22, 2019

****    

Christmas Blockbuster 

Christmas comes but once a year. And brings with it many seasonal offerings. Handel’s Messiah at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The Wizard of Oz on television. Or a staged production of "A Christmas Carol" for all the family to see. Indeed, this year you can’t seem to jingle a bell without coming across another staged version of Dickens’ 1843 classic about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. Yet bef...

November 21, 2019

****  

Dirt in the Blood 

The ghost of Bull McCabe is never far away in Rory Gleeson’s visceral and violent, "Blood in the Dirt," a tale of mans love of the land, and of the men who work and own it. Feeling at times like a 21st century take on John B. Keane’s The Field, "Blood in the Dirt" ploughs through many similar themes. As well as foregrounding some fresh and invigorating ideas that make it entirely its own thing...

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