Bloody politics on stage
IT’S Dublin in 1993, and a deranged Irish republican militant – Mad Padraic – is torturing a low-level drug dealer when he gets a call from home. His beloved cat, Wee Thomas, is sick. Padraic unties the dealer, makes him swear he will only sell to Protestant school kids and not Catholics then rushes home to care of his kitty. Unknowingly he is walking into a trap, a love triangle and a Mexican stand-off. So begins The Lieutenant of Inishmore – a rolling dark comedy that pokes fun at the absurdity of identity politics, excessive violence and militant pet ownership. It is the latest showcase to be performed by third-year theatre students at the University of Southern Queensland.
The school hired acclaimed Australian actor Jason Klarwein to direct it.
He said theatregoers would see comparisons with films like In Brugge, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
“The world we live in is quite polarised, and we are talking about a play that takes that polarisation to an absurd level,” he said.
“It has that high-violence element, so it is in our humour wheel as Australians.”
Padraic is too wild for the Irish Republican Army so he joins a splinter group, the Irish National Liberation Army, but is soon on the outer with it.
“What starts as a grudge ends up being something really nasty, which is what happens when you are willing to do anything for the cause,” Klarwein said.
The theatre school selected the play because it gave every actor a platform to show their stuff.
“It is a rocking little comedy,” Mr Klarwein said.
“There are plenty of great monologues and duologues.”
Having someone like Klarwein direct the play is a win for the university as it rewrites its theatre program to bring in a wide range of highprofile artists and help students transition from studying to working.
After the USQ gig, Klarwien moves to touring his Queensland Theatre Company production of Othello.
THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE PREMIERS AT 7PM TONIGHT IN THE A BLOCK THEATRE, USQ. EXTRA PERFORMANCES RUN TOMORROW, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, FOR 7PM.