Thursday, May 05, 2011

"The Pride of Parnell Street" at the Pavilion Theatre


I went along to see Sebastian Barry's play "The Pride of Parnell Street" by Fishamble - The New Play Company featuring Mary Murray and Joe Hanley in the Pavillion Theatre in DĂșn Laoghaire last evening. I had not heard anything about it before hand and actually thought it was a comedy. While it has some very funny moments, it is definitely not a comedy and is a more dark piece of drama - as you might expect from Sebastian Barry.

There are only two actors in the play - admirably performed by Murray and Hanley. They are on stage for the entire play without an interval. It also has no dialog - every line is delivered as a monologue, with each actor taking turns to speak. Dark subjects such as child death, wife battering, drug abuse, AIDS, and the 1974 bomb in Parnell Street are mixed together and handled very well by the two actors. They held the audiences attention throughout (except for the idiot whose phone rang) - excellent performances from both, and well worth seeing.

The Pavillion Theatre is quite small (300 seats) and intimate. However - last evening there was only about 50 people present and it must have been difficult for both actors to perform in front of such a small audience. There was no opportunity to applaud during the play (which I would have liked to do) which was 1.75 hours long - the silence was eerie at times. Top mark to Mary and Joe!

Before the play Roma and I had a very tasty dinner from the Starter Menu in the 40 Foot Bar and Grill beside the Theatre. Very comfortable surroundings and good value food too.

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