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Live theatre review of "Playboy of the Western World"

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Introduction

´╗┐On the Lyric stage a plume of scented turf smoke rises from the chimney of the old fashioned stove in an old battered ?shebeen? with washed out grey walls and tattered furnishing, aspects which inevitably reflect characteristics of the main story lines and characters in this play. Director Conall Morrison - takes us to the west of Ireland this time for Synge?s classic tale of murder, love and drinking. The cast is made up of experienced old hands and relative newcomers. The playboy himself is portrayed by Patrick Moy who delivers a convincing performance, of a Playboy who easily manipulates the story of how he ?riz the loy? and who is even easier on the eye. ...read more.

Middle

However, her unnecessary emphasis on every few words makes the character irritating and uncomfortable to listen to at times. Brid Ni Neachtain was in my opinion the star of the show in her fabulous portrayal of the flirtatious Widow Quin, and Lalor Roddy as Old Mahon rose from the dead with a comic high energy performance that at once caught the audiences attention and sped up the pace of the play, preparing us for the rollercoaster that was to come in the following scenes. Conall Morrison adds a more uplifting and comical element to the show through the portrayal of the three village girls besotted by the wonderous Christy Mahon, and the two drunken companions of Michael Flaherty, Philly and Jimmy who created ...read more.

Conclusion

Although at times I felt costume design was poor in portrayal of dress of that era one aspect of the play that cannot be faulted is the seamless lighting which was beautiful. It reflected the highs and lows of the play effortlessly. This was very evident in act 3, where Pegeen Mike softens and becomes more feminine, the light also softens. In the closing line of the show addressed by Pegeen Mike ?I?ve lost the only Playboy of the Western World? a single footlight illuminates Fitzgeralds face, giving a much darker and eery essence to the show. The play shows promise yet lacks in conviction that I feel that addressed more promininently, could have made this production one to most definitely remember and not just another programme to add to your collection. ...read more.

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