I'm back after a long absence, and a little disappointed to find that no one reviewed a great little play, that I just happened to catch myself before I went offline.
To be brutally honest, I probably never would have thought of going to see "The Cripple of Inishmaan" were it not for the fact that a good friend was in the cast. I mean, the word "cripple" doesn't exactly conjur pleasant images, and, well, where the hell is Inishmaan? I gathered that since this was a production from Irish Theatre Players, that Inishmaan is/was somewhere in Ireland.
Any way you look at it, it's not the most enticing of titles. I'll admit it - I judged a play by its title, and that was a BIG mistake.
This was a very, very funny little play, and the almost-capacity audience thoroughly enjoyed it on the night that I was there. Set in 1934, the little town of Inishmaan is starstruck by an American film crew arrived in town. All the town try out as extras - particularly the gorgeous young ladies - but the town cripple is chosen for a Hollywood screen test due to his unique look.
The town, of course, is populated with "characters", reminiscent of the marvellous film, "Waking Ned Devine". Standouts included Liam Connolly (reminding me very much of Ed Harris) who underwent a truly frightening character transformation; the always-enjoyable Pat Abbott in a small but meaty role; the aforementioned gorgeous Kim McNamara and Catherine McStravick as wickedly feuding sisters; and the scene-stealing Ann Barker who had the audience in tears of laughter with just the twitch of an eyebrow.
There were a couple of problems with lines and the lights, but nothing that wasn't easily overlooked. And quite frankly, that was the best Interval spread I have ever seen - tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits - enough to feed an army!
I know ITP have been experiencing problems (haven't we all) so it was great to see them back, and with such a quality comedy! In fact, I may even say that this play contained my favourite line of the year so far, with, "Billy's gone to America to work; well I say workin' but it's only actin', and actin's not workin' cos it's just talkin'."
I apologise for posting such a late review, but I think it's a bit of a shame if people work really hard, put on a damn funny show and then no one outside of the audience hears about it. The moral of this story is to see more shows at ITP, and not be put off by bloody odd titles.
Peter describes 'A Country Retreat" as a comedy-drama with a few current social issues thrown in for good measure. Is it possible to “get away from it all”? Maybe…… maybe not. The play is set in a rural area of the South West WA and presents real characters in believable situations. A play for our time.
Bookings open April 8 through Morris News 9440 1040
Season runs from May 10 to May 25
All evening sessions start at 8pm. Matinees start at 2pm.