‘To walk hand in hand with another” — that is the wishful fantasy of John, incarcerated indefinitely in a psychiatric institution. Enda Walsh’s new play, produced by Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, is a portrait of a damaged man suffering mental torture but yearning for the experience of love.
Sean Lock, who has died from cancer aged 58, was a popular comedian known for his deadpan delivery on television panel shows such as Have I Got News for You with Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, QI, and as a team captain on Jimmy Carr’s 8 Out of 10 Cats; he also drew enthusiastic reviews for touring shows such as Lockipedia, its title a play on the internet site that he claimed to despise.
There are three timescales evoked in this delicate and delightful Druid production of Tom Kilroy’s The Seagull, after Chekhov: firstly, there is the 1890s of the original Chekhov play, here transplanted into an Anglo-Irish big house in a restive pre-revolutionary Ireland; the second timescale is the 1980s, a golden era for Irish playwrights, when Kilroy boldly appropriated Chekhov’s doomed aristocracy as a lens through which to observe the demise of the Anglo-Irish; the third timescale is the present day, with contemporary Druid’s project Chekhov, playing out in the grounds of Coole Park, erstwhile home to Revival playwright and theatre manager Lady Gregory. This is a parade of Irish theatre history; even Boucicault’s Colleen Bawn gets a nod from the costume department.
For entertainers around the country, the lockdown hasn’t yet ended. While restaurants have reopened, cinema has returned and pubs are serving pints again, there are thousands of dancers, actors and musicians who are without work and are eager to get the show on the road.
The character of Elektra is one of the great gifts from the Greeks to the western dramatic tradition. She is the daughter of Agamemnon, the king murdered by his wife Klytämnestra and her lover Aegisthus. The guilty pair rule Mycenae with tyrannous zeal. Elektra refuses to bow down and forget; consequently, she is beaten and fed alongside the dogs.
Peter Gowen is not someone from whom you need to coax information . From the moment he appears on my screen for our interview, words spill from his lips. It’s as if – and I suspect this is the case – he’s taken the deliberate decision to turn those festering inner anxieties to the light.
Since she got her breakthrough role in university, starring in the stage play of Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs, Eileen Walsh has become known for shining in some of theatre’s greatest roles, from Lady Macbeth at 32 to Medea at 33. Her screen career has been equally illustrious, turning in standout performances in The Magdalene Sisters, Catastrophe, Patrick Melrose and Women on the Verge. Yet six years ago, one of Ireland’s most acclaimed and in-demand actresses decided that a back-up career plan was prudent.
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