As part of a course in Contemporary Irish Drama, my classmates and I saw four plays during our stay in Dublin. I love plays, but rarely have the chance to go to them, so you can imagine how spoiled I felt earlier this summer! Every time we got back from the theater I made sure to write down a few quick thoughts so I wouldn’t forget my initial impressions of the play we’d just seen. Using those notes, I thought I’d blog about it for you!
Since this play is based on a chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses, a book I still need to read, I have to admit that I found it pretty confusing! Plus, the actors had very thick Irish accents and spoke extremely quickly. Still, I was determined to puzzle out the story and by the end my concentration paid off. It taught me a little bit of turn-of-the-century Irish history at the same time as it made me laugh!
Find out more about Cyclops here.
Postscript is a semiautobiographical play about a woman who was born in one of Ireland’s notorious mother and baby homes, was subsequently put up for adoption, and is now trying to find her birth family. The author herself played the main character, while another woman played everyone else – including a sentient old home that mourned the loss of its former residents. Full of some of my favorite things – detectives, letters, and narrowly missed connections – it definitely went above and beyond my expectations.
Find out more about Postscript here.
Well, this performance just made me even more anxious to find the time to binge-read Emma Donoghue’s books! She was involved in adapting this book for the stage and, after seeing it, I’d have to say she was remarkably successful. The set design was INCREDIBLE, the songs were well chosen, and I’m so so happy that they decided to diversify the cast by choosing black actors.
Also, I was really impressed with the little boy who played Jack! The whole time, I was thinking of how tired I was after each session of the acting class I took last semester. That kid must have been about ten and, even though he had an alternate, I would imagine that two hours on stage is incredibly draining for a little kid.
Find out more about Room here.
The Great Gatsby
AHHHHH? Oh my god I’m still over the moon about this play. It was an interactive production, meaning that the audience was able to wander around the massive set (including into some backstage areas!), talk to the characters, and so on and so forth. Not to mention that we all got super dressed up for the event! I feel like nothing I say will do this performance justice because every time I try to describe it, it sounds corny af, but it wasn’t. It was definitely a classy night and I won’t forget it anytime soon.
I think it was definitely a play best appreciated by those who had already read the novel (or at least seen the movie), however, because it was impossible to be in every location with every character as something was going on throughout the set at all times. Personally, I had a blast because the story was familiar to me – it’s one of my favorite novels – but I can see how it would have been difficult to piece together the story if you didn’t know the original.
Found out more about The Great Gatsby here.
Have you seen productions of any of these plays? What’s the last play you saw?
P.S. Just realized that the majority of the plays we saw were adaptations! That’s so cool, what’s up with that?!