The Lonesome West (2009)
Directed by Naomi Liddle
Part of McDonagh's Connemara Trilogy, the play tells the tale of two brothers, living in a tiny Irish town that is fast becoming the murder capital of the world.
The Connor brothers live modest lives, gleaning joy from simple pleasures: drinking, joking with the foulmouthed Girleen, tormenting the naive young Father Welsh, and fighting with each other over crisps, inheritance, and their dead father. When, in an attempt to salvage their relationship they confess all to each other, the results are explosive.
- Coleman - Chris Slack
- Valene - Charles Doyle
- Father Welsh - Adam Crook
- Girleen Kelleher - Stephanie Urquhart
- Assistant Director - Caroline Doyle
- Stage Manager - Lauri Morgan
- Assistant Stage Manager - Deirdre Parkes
- Lighting Design - Gavin Parker
- Sound Design - Gavin Parker, Dave Hollander
- Lighting/Sound Operators - Caroline Doyle, Naomi Liddle
- Set Design - Charles Doyle
- Set Construction & Painting - Charles Doyle, Caroline Doyle, Stephanie Urquhart, Naomi Liddle, Adam Crook
- Props - Charles Doyle, Naomi Liddle, Caroline Doyle, The Mercury Theatre Colchester, Khaki Devil
- Fight Direction - Anton Krause
- Poster - Charles Doyle
- Programme - Naomi Liddle
- Theatre Rep - Carole Coyne
Huge thanks to....... Peter Medd and the cast and crew of the non-existent September Bell show, Clare Davenport, Mark Bullock, The Mercury Theatre, Colchester, The Rosendale, Alleyn's School, the Box Office team, the FOH team, Val Williams and the wardrobe team, Matthew Lyne and the hardworking Bar Staff who kept us supplied with Guinness, Chaz for calmly making everything better with brute force and power tools, the long-suffering SMs, and especially Caroline for keeping the director sane (again). Slainte!
I'm familiar with a few Irish Writers but didn't know what to expect with this, but was not dissapointed.
It took a few minutes to catch-up with the dialogue of the characters but once I was there and the story unfolded I was hooked.
South-West Irish is hard to get right but the actors did excellently. The atmosphere with the half delapidated terrace set the mood of the play perfectly, for the dark anti-fairy tale that was to playout.
The two main protagonists are Valene - played by the excellent Charles Doyle who seems to have OCD for plastic saints. And his Brother Coleman played by Chris Slack who seems to exist at times just to torment his brother.
There is a little bit of Beckett to this play, the continous repetition of their lives where their boredom and lack of meaning results in them mentally torturing each other.
Outside of the house is a dark village that if we were to venture around it would probably find the butcher selling some 'Special Stuff'
Add to this mix a wonderfully guilty priest played by the innocent faced Adam Crook who is questioning his Raison Detre, his own torment having an adverse effect on the congregation... or was it the other way around?
And topping off Girleen played by the the wonderful Stephanie Urquhart who has many layers and found the way she played the part incredibly interesting to know what was going on in her mind. My favourite scene in the play is when she's speaking to the priest. Wonderfully sensitive performance. It was a great juxtapostion to the anarchial scenes played by the brothers.
The lighting when it needed to was subtle and set the right tone as did the wonderful irish folk music. Being that I'd just arrived back from those shores I can tell ya it captured the mood perfectly.
Naomi always picks interesting plays to direct and to perform. This was right up there with the best of them. Tight direction and attention to detail and a real passion for the piece was obvious.
The actors really did look like they were enjoying themselves.
One thing. The Curtain call was over in a mini-second. I'm not saying luv it up. But it was kinda form a quick straight-line, half bow and run away. Bit more Finesse eh..
The scene changes might have been a bit more 'less SM's changing the scenery' but it always comes down to in my experience, 'what comes first the set or the scene changes?' Not my place to call..
But small details in what was a surperbly put together production.
Reminiscences and Anecdotes
Moo, ah feck!
Today's extract from Mock the Week will be...
Shall we have a drink after? Dumb feckin question that was...
Same as that...