Thursday, April 14, 2016

Quare Land a cure for all ailments

There was never so much effort put into running a bath, writes Brian Byrne. A half a dozen people, including the man going to have the wash, were all busy pouring hot water, stirring bubbles, and testing temperature ("Ouch!").

And if they sloshed some on the stage, well, it didn't really matter, because that all added to the most scruffy-looking set ever seen in Kilcullen's Town Hall Theatre.

In the end, or the beginning, there was just Bernard Berney and his bath, with lots of froth, steam, and even a frogman set … and a whole lotta laughs.

I'm not going to say how the story of the Cavan farmer having his first bath in years, and his visitor looking for a bit of land Vivian Clarke, turned out. Mainly because the Diary was only able to stay for the first half. But it was a half of hilarity, and we're looking forward to seeing the whole thing at one of the extra nights next week.

Meantime, if you have tickets, you're in for a treat, even if it is just looking at the faces pulled by Bernard throughout the evening. Seeing what he can do, confined to the one (wet) spot all through, really confirms the amazing talent of the man. And if Vivian can't seem to get a word in edgewise about his golf course extension proposal, well that's the way the play is designed, and he performs the perfect (if frustrated) foil for the man in the bath.

And a real shout out here to Letitia Hanratty's set design, with the necessary rubbish provided by a number of our well-known friends.

Under the deft direction of Eilis Phillips, even in a half dose The Quare Land is a better antidote to the past winter ills than anything Bernard could have provided in his previous occupation.

More pics here.