Roscommon Show Review
MC INTYRE HOLDS AUDIENCE IN PALM OF HIS HAND WITH NEW PLAY
Theatre-goers in Roscommon tonight treated Padraic McIntyre to a standing ovation for his latest offering "The Night Joe Dolan's Car Broke Down". This play held the audience firmly for the full duration. Centering on the night of December 26th 2007, the intricate tale unfolds. As the play opens, we see a humdrum St Stephen's night celebration in a local pub in County Cavan. Bottles of Budweiser at the ready, the locals are awaiting the arrival of an eccentric character "The Horse". A tale of disputed parentage involving a battered birth certificate ensues. Interwoven with this is a portrayal of an unhappily married couple, who sit mute in one corner of the bar. The local one-man-keyboard-show is tinkling away in a niche, churning out everything from "Barney the Dinosaur" to Oasis's "Wonderwall". The first act gradually unravels to reveal some sexual shenanigans which have been going on in the bar premises in daylight hours. The eerie knock on the door which heralds the arrival of Joe Dolan nicely ends the first half.
After the interval, the audience is treated to a full set of five songs, performed live by Joe himself, which inevitably leads to some audience participation and the obligatory knicker-throwing. As they say, there's no show quite like a Joe show. The action slows down, morning dawns at the bar, and the appearance of Joe the night before is now questionable. Was it all a figment of the imagination?
The Ramor Players, under the direction of Padraic McIntyre deliver a fine performance. The characters are sharply drawn, with particularly strong performances from the actor who played Joe Dolan, and also the actress who played the promiscuous wife. The company extracted the wit and fun of the piece with precision and style.
The writing itself is lively and witty, and conveys the local nuances and expressions of the east Cavan area with a truth and realism that could only come from a native. Savagely raunchy at times, it had the audience in knots of laughter. "I don't want to go home to my bed, I want to go into yours" and "scrape my back" are two such phrases which spring to mind. The set design was intricate and apt for a rural bar, complete with pink embroidered two-seater and dartboard.
Aside from the sheer entertainment factor, stronger undercurrents resonate long after the final curtain. The poignancy of birth and death juxtaposed, the absent father, the abandoned child, the culture of alcohol and drug abuse that prevails in Ireland - all of these themes are displayed with delicacy underneath an uproariously funny exterior. The final image of a hauntingly starched white jacket on a bare stage was striking indeed. With echoes of Conor McPherson's "The Weir", an eerie atmosphere is created throughout, with use of candles and howling wind. A haunting anecdote of a woman in a nightdress in a doorway at dawn is one of the most powerful images of the play. The closing track "Goodbye Venice" had some audience members in tears. Currently touring in the border region, this play is one not to be missed!
Press Release for The Night Joe Dolan’s Car Broke Down
Oh me, oh my, they’ll make you sigh………
Imagine being stranded with the legendary Joe Dolan in a rural pub in Cavan on the night his car breaks down.
That’s just the sort of fantasy scenario that’s imagined in “The Night Joe Dolan’s Car Broke Down” a new play written by Padraic McIntyre.
This show comes to the Town Hall Theatre Galway on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th February and is set on a stormy St. Stephen’s night as people gather to celebrate the 60th birthday party of the The Horse Munley. As the storm worsens and people head home a knock to the door brings the night’s entertainment to a new level.
The play features a host of local characters that audiences will easily identify with, each with their own story, As the play unfolds so too does the music and craic. The show has been a sell out success in the Ramor Theatre Virginia, Roscommon, Longford, Mullingar Monaghan and Leitrim and is a real tonic to beat the recession and election