A tantalising homecoming
THE GIGLI CONCERT Druid Lane Theatre, Galway Jul 18-25; Everyman Palace Theatre, Cork Jul 28-Aug 1; Town Hall Theatre, Galway Aug 4-8 8pm €25/€16 A few years ago Druid Theatre company extended its already complicated business of producing plays to include the more ambitious agenda of staging “events”. So far, it has proved enormously effective. The Leenane Trilogy had a greater cultural impact than three discrete Martin McDonagh plays, an excellent Playboy of the Western World was but one component of the extraordinary DruidSynge project, and even the company’s laudable commitment to touring its work now resembles an awesome global campaign: last March, Druid had three separate productions performing simultaneously in Cavan, London and New York.
If you’ve ever been to the tiny, charmingly rickety Druid Lane Theatre, you wonder how such world-beating achievement is possible. Now refurbished, and due its grand unveiling with the revival of Tom Murphy’s The Gigli Concert, as part of the Galway Arts Festival, the theatre hosts a tantalising homecoming. Murphy has a long association with the company, and his 1983 play, about a quack “dynamatologist” drawn into an eccentric Irishman’s ambition to sing like opera star Beniamino Gigli, requires something more than a great director, an excellent crew and a superb cast – all of which are here supplied. It really requires something like alchemy. It requires an event. PETER CRAWLEY Can’T See ThaT? CaTch This A Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Merchant of Venice, Galway
Denis Conway, Peter Sullivan and Eileen Walsh in The Gigli Concert