Des Keogh is a consummate actor and his latest one-man show, adapted from John B Keane’s, Letters Of An Irish Publican, freshens up faded epistles and with a risque touch of blue, he is less nudge and wink and straight up the passage bringing double entendres into the Naughties. Forty year olds lust for teenagers, others are cannibals for sex, drink whiskey out of a sore ear, have sex with mermaids and there are more balls mentioned than might be deemed healthy, even for a football panel in a brothel.
Keogh acts out a series of characters like the publican Martin MacMeer, a sex-mad solicitor, Grace; a toothless customer, a foul-mouthed customer, a snobbish canon whose sermons are hilarious and a squeeky little devious Mother Superior. He does this with clever costume additions with such ease that he masks the accuracy of his characters. He makes it so easy and he entertains so well.
There were more than polite, I-remember-dat, chuckles, but great draughts of laughter and at times shrieks as he explored cries of sexual climaxes and audacious nocturnal exaltations and ejaculations.
A fine composite set has a pulpit, a convent insert, a pub bar called Journey’s End, two hall or coat stands, excellent costumes and within that Ciaran O’Reilly design and Moyra D’Arcy’s fine lighting.
It was great to experience a new John B/Des Keogh show and I know there is still a wealth of material awaiting adaptation a and an audience out there ready to raise a flag for fun and entertainment. With Des Keogh in the stirrups, you are guaranteed a great ride, so let the balloons go up. No doubt he will be back, don’t miss him. As an older woman said in the foyer – Sure ‘twas great gas and we need that now.