Port Authority Southwark Playhouse 3pm 28 January

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Picture from Southwark Playhouse FB page--you can see rather more than this photo implies

This new play by Conor McPherson began with some ineffective pentatonic noodling to establish atmosphere and I slumped against the railings next to me as I realised I was not going to have a rewarding 90 minutes.

The play comprised young Kevin, middle-aged Dermot and old Joe relating episodes from their lives.  Kevin had moved out of his parents’ home and perhaps had the possibility of true love, but in the end had moved back and stayed with curly-haired Tricia.  Joe had decided after a dream of absolute love that Marion Ross from next door was the one meant for him, but had not dared to accept a photograph of her as a girl.  Dermot had found himself out of his depth in his new job and then his rather unsuitable wife reminded him that she had originally condescended to save him, not the other way round.

Well.  I think the point here is that these men were not strong enough to seize happiness because they were crippled by Irish smallness (and also God in the case of Joe).   I didn’t find it engaging.  The lack of any contact between the characters didn’t help.  (OK, so Kevin’s housemate’s  calamitous band ends up being big in the States.  But when O’Hagen’s deceased mother is said to have wanted a photo sent to an ex-neighbour–well, he would have been Ross and not O’Hagen).

Kevin (Andrew Nolan) was given some nice lines about being young and in love, but his part was especially hampered by the Joycean-epiphanic shtick, where minor details occupy the foreground of the narration as though they mean something.  He seemed to be a nice clean boy and so rather out of place–that was probably the point.  Ardal O’Hanlon as Dermot delivered an impersonation of 1970s comedian Dave Allen.  I wondered whether John Rogan as Joe was forgetting his lines or depicting the effects of age.  I finally settled on forgetting.

I didn’t understand the title either.

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One Response to “Port Authority Southwark Playhouse 3pm 28 January”

  1. PassionForTheatre Says:

    Funny, I had the same question re: John Rogan’s Joe but put it down to his portrayal of an old man. On the evening I went, he lost his momentum a little when a few of the audience members left the auditorium halfway through the production.

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