A tan­ta­lis­ing home­com­ing

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Listings -

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

Crys­tal’s House

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