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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Dublin By Lamplight

The Liverpool Playhouse
May 15 – May 19

Author: Michael West
Director: Annie Ryan
Producer: The Corn Exchange
Cast Includes: Louis Lovett, Janet Moran, Tom Jordan Murphy, Karen Egan,
Tadhg Murphy, Paul Reid.

Image: production of 'Dublin By Lamplight'

Dublin By Lamplight Reviewed

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website

Anybody who has a penchant for surreal minimalism mixed with a great deal of fun is in for a rare treat with Annie Ryan’s production of Dublin By Lamplight. Although the third-person narrative and the stage being bare does take some getting used to initially, the ability on offer most certainly does not.

It’s the opening night of Willy Hayes’s mythical opus but the desperate struggle Willy and his colleagues face is political as well as artistic, especially since Edward VII is visiting Dublin. Oh, and Frank is scuttling about with a valise packed with explosives.

Image: screen shot of Dublin by LamplightLouis Lovett in the role of Willy is outstanding. Face painted and agile – as are the entire cast – here is an actor with all the comic timing and pathos of the great clowns of yesteryear, yet one who also understands the power of mime and uses it with the effect of a wannabe Marceau.

Equally as adept in being able to wring the most out of his character is Tom Jordan Murphy who in playing the hammed-up thesp Martyn, manages to bring to mind every camp actor from Charles Haughtry to John Inman yet still remains a true one-off. His facial expression and ability to exchange roles at the drop of a hat is remarkable.

With Maggie (Moran) vieing for the main female lead over the upper-class Eva St John (Egan) there are delicious parodies of just about every musical ever written yet remains Joyce in overdrive. How the great Irish author would have enjoyed its simplicity and understated grandeur, however, is debateable.

Supported by Culture Ireland

Ten Days on the Island
Brighton Festival 8 -12 May
Playhouse Liverpool 15 - 29 May
Lowry Quays, Salford 22 - 26 May
Newcastle Northern Stage 29 May - 2 June

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website



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