Master Class review: Maria Callas delivers a lesson in excellence through cruelty

Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, until May 27

Niall Kinsella, Caitríona Ní Mhurchú and Rebecca Rodgers in Master Class. Photo by Ste Murray

Katy Hayes

American playwright Terrence McNally managed the great trick of transferring his talent between the experimental and the commercial stages, and the neat dramatic shape of this play demonstrates how he did it. He takes a rather esoteric idea — a retired opera singer teaching a class — and pumps it up with a clever cruel wit, as well as threading it with a compelling emotional journey.