Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | May 2, 2012

GREENER BY FIONA LOONEY AT GAIETY THEATRE

I attended the opening night of “Greener” in The Gaiety Theatre last night. I’m always worried about going to comedies. I recall literally wanting to run out of “Run for your wife” in the same theatre many years ago. I like comedy to be intelligent and challenging, making you laugh by pointing out the ridiculousness of life and love, and the frailty and wonder of the human condition, rather than a series of obvious one-liners. I need not have worried. From the moment the four main characters commanded the stage, the atmosphere was electric and the tremendous script carried them along admirably.

The play is about two sets of next door neighbours and some news that’s about to rock both families, but not necessarily in a way you would expect. Good comedy has to be laced with a heavy tinge of sadness and tragedy in order to give it weight and Pauline McLynn succeeded in this endeavour by giving her character the sadness and depth that propelled the comedic moments, right down to her very poignant final line.  Deirdre O’Kane delivered her lines in her fabulously effortless style. She is naturally funny and convincing. You really do believe in the friendship between the two women, as you do in the friendship of the hubbies: Lorcan Cranitch’s lovable character, who just wants to keep the missus happy and the sometimes suited friend, played very well by Declan Conlon. The differences between the two characters were superbly drawn, but they had a credible friendship, which served to make the twists and turns more palpable, when Conlon’s seeming affability is called into question.

Joe Vanek’s set is very cleverly done, separating the two abodes with ease, with a great set change halfway through that I will not detail here, which set the audience literally into peels of laughter.

Although it is a coming of middle-age story, the coming of age aspect was very well served by the youngest member of the cast Ryan Andrews, whose worries about the future and “studying” for his leaving, which generally involved playing on his laptop, were both hilarious and heartrending, His father delivered the wonderful line about the more qualifications he had the further he would have to emigrate! Ryan’s fantastically natural performance and ability to convey the character so well make him an actor to watch out for in the future. Indeed my 14 and 16 year old teens, who were a bit grumpy about coming out in the rain, thoroughly enjoyed the play as did the teens sitting behind us.

Fiona Looney’s script is very clever and endearing and I feel this play will run for many years in many different venues and will be well quoted along the way. I’m sorry now I missed Dandelions. The scene where the father is behind the newspaper, the son behind the laptop and the mother on the edge of the seat wondering what it’s all about works brilliantly. Three separate conversations ensue, but despite the interruption of technology and everyone doing their own thing, the closeness and love within the family still shone through. It’s a fabulous human story about our inability to straddle a number of lives and contentment or lack of with the choices we do make.

I was caught up once again in the beauty and majesty of the theatre and thought of all the savage arts council cuts and it brought it home to me that the people involved have to work extra hard to keep theatre alive. During the interval, I could not take my eyes of an angel on one of the boxes with a broken leg, and I thought of how things don’t always have to be perfect to be beautiful.  In the middle of this crazy recession, we need to support the arts and keep ourselves entertained and amused at the same time.  Go for a great fun night in the theatre. Go to “Greener”.

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Responses

  1. That sounds like a date for the diary. Thanks for the review Susan and you’re right about supporting the arts. I’ll definitely go to see this one!

  2. I was there too. Loved first half. Loved funny one liners. Acting great. But tht end really weak. There wasn’t really any character development at all. So having enjoyed a lot of it, left theatre feeling somehow cheated.


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