Another evening, another play. This time the Gate Theatre (notorious for its uncomfortable seating) to see ‘The Beacon’ by Nancy Harris. My ticket was not free – I paid for the honour of a front row seat – the cheapest row in the house. I can’t understand why this is. I always make a beeline for the front row. I like to be close enough to the stage to see the spittle from the actors’ mouths. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Beacon’
When I read ‘Star of the sea’ by Joseph O’Connor earlier this century, I was astonished. That brilliant book concerned a murder committed on a coffin ship sailing from Famine-stricken Ireland to the New World. A semi-sequel ‘Redemption Falls’ was published some years later in 2007. I was in the American Book Center in Amsterdam on the day of release such was my anticipation. To my horror I loathed it – finding it turgid, incomprehensible and very, very dull. It was a huge disappointment – thankfully it was only a blip on O’Connor’s illustrious output and I loved his subsequent books ‘Ghost light’ and ‘The thrill of it all’. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Redemption Falls’
Tonight – for the third time in a week – I was at the theatre, this time to see ‘Pasolini’s Salo redubbed’ at the Peacock. Another show from the Dublin Theatre Festival.
‘Salò’ is a 1975 horror art film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini and is an adaptation of the book ‘The 120 days of Sodom’ by the Marquis de Sade set during the 2nd world war. The film is about four wealthy, corrupt Italian libertines living in the fascist republic of Salo,(1943–1945). The libertines kidnap eighteen teenagers and subject them to four months of violence, murder, sadism and sexual and mental torture. The film is about corruption, murder, abuse of power, sadism, perversion, and fascism. It was no doubt banned in Ireland on release, and remains banned in Australia. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Pasolini’s Salo redubbed’
Disclaimer: This play ‘officially opens’ tonight. The Wednesday performance I saw, was the second preview show, for which I paid for my ticket. Hence I am not a ‘critic’. This review is based on my opinion as a paying customer, so I am not bound by the critic’s etiquette of not reviewing before opening night.
‘Last orders at the Dockside’ is the latest play written by Dermot Bolger, directed by Graham McLaren, and is part of the Dublin Theatre Festival at the Abbey Theatre. Set in 1980 on the night that Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest, a community gathers in the Dockside Bar along the North Wall Quays to commemorate Luke Dempsey, a recently deceased docker. The Dublin docklands in 1980 were a far different beast to what they are today. Starting at the Custom House by the river Liffey, they stretched all the way out to the sea. For generations entire families lived in docker communities close to the quays, where the men would gather every morning for ‘reads’ where their names would be called to work, to unload the cargo from arriving ships. In 1980 automation meant that this dangerous, centuries old way of life was under threat. These were communities under siege, their way of life facing extinction. The future of the Docklands as a shiny, glass monument to capitalism – the International Financial Services Centre with its gleaming mirrored buildings housing banks, insurance companies and my block of flats – was unknown. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Last orders at the dockside’
This week sees the start of the annual Dublin Theatre Festival. Having purchased several early bird and preview tickets, over the next month I shall be in regular attendance at the playhouse As my skills are finely honed at bargain hunting, I don’t think I will be paying more than a cinema price for any show. Tonight I went to see a revival of the classic play ‘The playboy of the western world’ by John Millington Synge at the Gaiety Theatre. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The playboy of the western world’