REVO­LU­TION

Jimmy’s Hall

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS - Pe­ter Craw­ley

Abbey Theatre. Jul 28 – Aug 19 7.30pm ¤13-¤45 abbeythe­atre.ie In 1932, at the be­gin­ning of De Valera’s Ire­land, and the last years of the bit­terly di­vided Free State, James Gral­ton re­turned to Leitrim from Amer­ica. Re­open­ing the Pearse-Con­nolly Hall, a sec­u­lar com­mu­nity space he built years ear­lier for cul­tural lessons, de­bates and danc­ing, Gral­ton was an en­thu­si­as­tic or­gan­iser who was in­suf­fi­ciently def­er­en­tial to ei­ther church or state. Barely a year later he was de­ported as an il­le­gal alien from the coun­try of his birth. Adapted from Ken Loach’s 2014 film, di­rec­tor Gra­ham McLaren bur­nishes Gral­ton’s le­gend for the Abbey Theatre with a pro­duc­tion that takes the form of a ceilidh, per­formed by a bright en­sem­ble of player-per­form­ers whose jigs, danc­ing and au­di­ence ad­dress sug­gest what might hap­pen if

Once The Mu­si­cal met the pop­ulist agit-prop of Scot­land’s le­gendary 7:84. Ju­bi­lant and earnest, some­times to the point of self-se­ri­ous­ness, it is buoyed by the idea that any gath­er­ing has rev­o­lu­tion­ary po­ten­tial, but is most steady in the sim­ple joys of bring­ing peo­ple to­gether.

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