(Mary Leland’s article appeared in The Irish Times, 1/14.)
Going to the theatre in Cork can feel like going to a pub, at least in the case of this show at the Everyman Palace. The combination of the Everyman’s new season launch reception with the opening night of Ger Fitzgibbon’s two-act play resulted in a talkative stream of wine- and beer-bearing latecomers in the opening minutes of the show.
This inevitably disrupts the impact of Nicholas Kavanagh’s initial appearance as the suitor Looney-Bagenal. It also means that the detail of Deirdre Dwyer’s economic but beautifully pitched set is diminished, and it erodes the impact of Fitzgibbon’s rewriting of two Chekov vaudeville pieces being rooted in rural Ireland instead of rural Russia.
This is important because, in his writing and direction, Fitzgibbon sets a brisk pace. His cast of three – Kavanagh, Jack Healy and Aideen Wylde – relish the controlled canter at which they work, and are skilled and comfortable enough to accommodate the reaction to their paired comedies.