Read more about the article REVIEW: Dancing at Lughnasa, Olivier (2023)
Bláithín Mac Gabhann as Rose, Alison Oliver as Chris, Louisa Harland as Agnes and Siobhán McSweeney as Maggie (Photo: Johan Persson)

REVIEW: Dancing at Lughnasa, Olivier (2023)

Robert Jones’ set is idyllic. A bead curtain hangs implying that rain is falling and we can see a large tree close by. A curved path winds through the grass and peat to the Mundys’ kitchen with its solid oak dining table, chairs and dresser. To the rear are mountains and a blue sky and bracken lined scrub. Another arrival at the Mundy house is Gerry Evans (Tom Riley) the father of Chrissie’s son Michael. Gerry’s latesst career development is as a gramophone salesman but he is feckless and unreliable although Chris is obviously still in love with him. As the radio symbolises a modern world that is about to descend on rural Ireland, so we hear that a factory will replace the home knitters but there is no place for Rose and Agnes. After Rose meets a boy at Lughnasa known for its trial marriages, the family search for her because they cannot cope with another scandal and Rose is very vulnerable. Rose and Agnes run away to a life of destitution in London. Chrissie, we are told by Michael, will spend the rest of her life as a worker in that knitwear fa

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REVIEW: King Lear, Donmar Warehouse (2010)

I am the first to admit that King Lear, of Shakespeare’s great tragedies, is the one that fills me with little joy at the prospect of seeing it again. But here at London’s Donmar Warehouse with Michael Grandage at the helm and Derek Jacobi in the title role is a production to prove my misgivings not just unfounded but as foolish as the old man. This is the definitive Lear for my money, the one to which all others should aspire. Nothing annoys. Nothing grates. All builds a perfect and avoidable tragedy.

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