Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Classic yarn still packs a punch

Barefoot colleens and good-for-nothing blatherers share the spotlight with aristocrats in Boucicault's Colleen Bawn, which drew audiences in their droves when it was first staged in the 1860s.

You'd think that Oirish stereotypes would have vanished along with the owners of the big houses – but Druid's new production shows there's still fun to be had with old familiars.

Director Garry Hynes has taken this classic melodrama and given it a polish, with a splash of pathos. The plot is based on a real murder case in Co Clare, where a landed gent attempted to free himself from his marriage to a peasant to remarry into money.

Boucicault is kinder to his leading man, Hardress Cregan (Marty Rea). He wishes away his wife Eily (Kelly McAuley) in thought rather than in deed, so that he might marry his wealthy cousin Anne (Aisling O'Sullivan) and avoid financial ruin.

But Cregan's servant, the crippled boatman Danny (Aaron Monaghan), is determined to do what's necessary to make his master happy, and sets out to drown the Colleen Bawn.

Remarkably, a play packed with poitin, priests and peasants has more to say to us than we might expect.

GRANIA MCFADDEN

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Libra:

Sorting out and organising your surroundings should be your first priority. As a general rule, you don't mind an untidy workspace. As far as you're concerned, messiness is a sign of genius. There comes a point when even the most talented person has to make order from chaos. It may take a few hours to sort through all the papers that have accumulated, but take heart. Once you dispose the junk, you'll be able to zip through chores like a hot knife through butter.More