(Patrick Brennan’s article appeared in Irish Theatre Magazine, 5/7.)
The Ones Who Kill Shooting Stars is set in the midst of The Emergency in Ireland during the Second World War. Since Drogheda-based Upstate Theatre’s mission statement promises to draw upon the culture and history of the town and its county, this absurdist and strangely romantic drama particularly focuses on an area of the coast of County Louth – Clogherhead Beach to be precise. As the programme note by archaeologist Dr Geraldine Stout informs, Ireland’s coast was littered with lookouts and watchmen on guard in case of invasion, though whether from the English or the Germans no one seems to have been quite so sure. This, then, is the backdrop to Conall Quinn’s wildly surreal and humorous play, the theatrical precursors of which are Edward Bond, Samuel Beckett and J.M. Synge as much as Flann O’Brien (in a different genre, of course).
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