Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Playboy of the Western World at The Old Vic by JM Synge

When this play was first on stage, back in 1907, it was received badly, causing riots in Dublin. Although hard to believe today, such are the issues raised by the playwright. The Old Vic’s version is a commendable performance, with plausible accents and gripping scenes. The themes and social context is positioned well with the performance with well placed nuances.
The folk singers and musicians heighten the atmosphere and create the right blend to accompany the storyline. Furthermore, this emphasises the roots of the original. Viweers need not know the historical or political background to appreciate the dark comedy or situations in order to appreciate and enjoy the play. In additon to this, the way that the stage design rotates are different points in the play adds a three dimensional quality to it. Although most of the action takes place in Pegeen Mike’s inn, the aura of the outside world is made more alluring by the stage design. We are given a glimpse of untouched countryside with the cleverly designed window scene.
It must be added that this play is wonderfully creative in the use of language. Not only does it preserve the original script, it keeps is fresh and quirky. Viewers are able to appreciate the quips and action. The language does not weigh down the humour or storyline, which can often prove a challenge with a new production.

Refreshing, lyrical and engaging. The Old Vic puts on a great cast and performance. One to be preserved and brought back to stage.

Gwendolen Chatfield
Karen Cogan
John Cormack
Niamh Cusack
Drew Dillon
Christopher Doyle
Diarmuid de Faoite
James Greene
GrĂ¡inne Keenan
Frank Laverty
Gary Lydon
Ruth Negga
Robert Sheehan
Bronagh Taggart
Kevin Trainor

John Crowley
Scott Pask
Howard Harrison
Philip Chevron
Christopher Shutt
Maggie Lunn

No comments:

Post a Comment