After being such a Deirdre Of The Sorrows about one of the Abbey’s recent offerings, I am determined to be nice about Jimmy’s Hall.
I went to see it for the cast. Actors Lisa Lambe and Ruth McGill are two of the soundest leading ladies in Irish theatre, and they joined a cast including Bosco Hogan, Donal O’Kelly and the fiddle player Aindrias De Staic. I also got offered a free ticket (thank you Fáilte Ireland). So I went. Sure, why wouldn’t you.
Let’s jump straight to the extended go if / avoid if section…
Go if – you like musicals! And/or you love Irish music in an all-embracing way (eg not just posh trad like The Gloaming)
Go if – you’re a tourist!
Avoid if – you’re a writer!
Avoid if – you don’t like musicals. Also, avoid if you find spirited American audience members clapping along at every song, as if a play is a session, when it is not a session, it is, in fact, a play, irritating or cringeworthy.
Go if – you like theatre that is tasty, lively and my, oh my, quite good looking
Avoid if – you like theatre that is high in nutritional value
Avoid if – you’re the ‘Thinking Man’ that people refer to when they say ‘It’s The Thinking Mans’ dot dot dot…
Go if – you love Lisa Lambe – her voice is a shining star of the production
Avoid if – you like your theatre naturalistic, gritty, your humour more than vaguely humorous
Go if – you want a brief reminder of the threat that fascism held across Europe, including in Ireland, during the 30’s.
Go if – You love bashing De Valera.
Avoid if – You’re me.
Go if – YOU LOVE AN AUL DANCE!