by guest critic Meredith Jones Russell
A buoyant cast enters singing their hearts out to “Ireland’s Call”. They are dressed as a variety of Irish stereotypes: a man in a balaclava, a priest, Miss Ireland, an Orangeman, a rugby fan. Caricatures, certainly, but there’s a lot of energy, and the suggestion we might see some of these clichés unpacked and explored.
Then, suddenly, we seem to be in a completely different play. I Am of Ireland, an examination of the complexities and divisions of recent Irish history up to the present day, provides short monologues and scenes focusing on an entirely different set of characters, with a markedly different tone. Continue reading
by guest critic Maeve Campbell
Heading home from the Soho Theatre after watching Justin Hopper’s Flutter, it was striking to see crowds of people, mainly men, congregate outside the huge Hippodrome Casino that faces Leicester Square station. The detailed interior of the Grosvenor betting shop, immaculately imagined in the Soho upstairs space, had impressed, but felt rather distant from the location of the playing space. Now facing these worshippers to the church of gambling, it seems such snobberies were ignorantly informed. The play’s press describes it as “a love-letter to the high street bookies”. This love is a dark one though, rapidly told in this hour and a half melodrama.