A city named Desire
The air was heavy with tumescent heat, the scent of women from another city not our own, and the definite sense of impending climactic fury. And that was just the audience at the opening of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Gate Theatre last Tuesday night.
Rarely in the history of theatre has the symbiosis between audience and drama been so apparent (even the thunder storm came on cue). But then, that is the genius of artistic director Michael Colgan. He sees himself as Pinteresque and Beckettian, but we suspect that deep down, under that pregnant pause exterior, there beats a Williams' heart of mint julep poetry and magnolia-laden sensuality (we are allowed a little irony, surely).
Anyway, this is the perfect summer to stage Streetcar – the temperature outside the perfect channel for the repressed sexuality and tragedy inside.
It was a gathering of inveterate theatre-goers, which included some of the handsomest couples in Ireland like art connoisseur Michael Mortell and Oonagh Finn, Gerry Purcell and Aisling Gleeson, Mary Finan and Ib Jorgensen as well as Patrick Mason, Charlie Murles, Eithne Healy, Mary O'Sullivan from this parish – all of whom agreed Ethan MacSweeny had done a fabulous job and that there never was a Blanche like Lia Williams. And a special word for Catherine Walker, too.