Eamon Morrissey returned to the Theatre Royal after a quarter of a century with his much acclaimed one-man show The Brother. Based on the satirical writings of Flann O’Brien or Myles na Gopaleen. Eamon is enjoying new fame since his arrival in Fair City but many at the Royal were remembering his sketches on the seventies satire Hall’s Pictorial Weekly – especially as Minister for Hardship.
This was a classic night in the theatre like in as holy of holys, a Dubbelin snug as he genteelly ordered pints and a ball of malt. Once the shake of his hand subsided (he spilt the water, not the whiskey) he spoke to the audience like old friends and regaled them royally with intimate stories of the legendary Brother.
The Brother lives, and was there again on the stage with his know-all antics, his frantic efforts to get away from the author who created him, no doubt like a genial genie from a bottle of spirit.
The theatre was warm and welcoming, the audience happy and the mood was just right, as Eamon, ranged through the characters from At Swim Two Birds, The Third Policeman and we were carried along by a master actor at his comedic best.
We rode out with Drumcondra cattle rustlers, saddled up in Ringsend and watched a man become part bicycle due to molecular theory and too many hours in the saddle.
His consumption of pints and malt was an outstanding aside in this ninety minute show, without an interval. I felt that I had heard the stories for the first time (I remember Waterford’s Vic Merriman touring The Brother) and I was like a happy toper when Eamon gave us A Pint of Plain from the worker’s friend Jem Casey. This was magic on a memorable night.