March 2013        


A fantastic sixty minutes of drama

The Prodger by Tina Noonan, at the New Theatre, Dublin

I went along to the New Theatre on Friday the 1st of March after hearing Gaybo mentioning it on his wonderful Lyric FM show on a Sunday afternoon; and I was glad I did so, as Gay sometimes gets it wrong on his recommendations at times.

       This was a fantastic sixty minutes of drama and especially the two main characters: Johnny, a grumpy old alcoholic veteran of the First World War and the publican attending him, Mick. Their old, all-too-familiar arguments about what had happened on nights gone by and the aftermath of old wakes reminded this onlooker of times gone by; but there was a serious side to this drama in the character of Johnny, a crippled, forgotten veteran after the war, like millions of others, playing on his memory as he recounts near-death situations that he found himself him.
      The typical priest, Father Tom, sleeps at the bar, seeking comfort in what was a horrible Ireland to live in then (and still is today): the plight of the priest with his sexual longings kept at bay. The meekness of the elderly Coleman is a too-stark reminder of the wastage of youth.
      But it was the drama by Johnny and Mick that I found spellbinding, and I left the theatre with my disgust of war further enhanced.
      I hope the British ambassador, who was in the audience, found this too, as that ambassador’s country seeks more of its imperialist adventure in fields where only the young die, and their masters sleep well at night.

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