IRISH WORLD THEATRE REVIEW

DRAMA AT INISH

By Lennox Robinson

Finborough Theatre

Another great play resurrected from neglect by the Finborough Theatre, London.

Lennox Robinson (1886-1958) was born into a Protestant family in County Cork and had a long association with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin serving as its manager, director and producer for over fifty years.

This classic Irish comedy, first performed in 1933, is the tale of a touring Irish theatre company who come to the small village of Inish to raise the intellectual tone from the usual “summer comicalities” which are routinely performed.

The touring company seek to perform “serious” works by the likes of Chekhov, Strindberg, and Ibsen with – as you would expect – devastating consequences. However, such is the skill of the dramatist, devastating yes, but not at all what you would expect!

Drama at Inish is a farce and, as such, movement is all important and there are a number of very zany scenes with much running in and out of different rooms; panic and mayhem ensue. The production – and not just for this reason alone - cries out for a bigger stage.

Direction needs to be tight with all such shenanigans and Fidelis Morgan keeps her cast in breathless order. For me, Celia Imrie stole the show, but the performance of Christopher Logan as the love-lorn young innocent was very beguiling.

A cavil perhaps, but was there a piece of mis-casting with Jack Klaff playing the stay-at-home alcoholic hotelier and Oengus Mac Namara as the show-boating T.D.? Drink there was a-plenty and laugh upon laugh. This production deserves an immediate transfer. To the Tricycle?

Now playing at the Finborough Theatre, London SW10

Sundays and Mondays 9th 10th 16th 17th 23rd 24th October 2011 7.30pm

Matinees 3pm Mon17 Mon 24 Tues 25

Tickets around £15 various concessions

Book on line www.fiinboroughtheatre.co.uk

Shaun Traynor