Waterford Youth Arts, last week in Garter Lane, presented an up-dated version of the famous Western World Playboy with a script written and directed by BISI ADIGUN. This adaptation suited the young summer holiday cast who could explore the original Synge text and experience a modern version at the same time.
An impressive set by Clare Scott and Paddy Dwan set the scene and I liked the topical announcements touch from Martina Collender and Ciara Kavanagh who, as well as fire announcements, said if you cough or sneeze to catch it, bin it, kill it. Another touch was Seaney’s statement that television was a deterrent to a good conversation and the lines that compared Christy Mahon’s “gallus deed” to being worse than the Christian Brothers or the Scissors Sisters.
The traditional story unfolded well with Christy being compared to Ken McGrath and Brad Pitt. The trio of revellers, Jamie Flynn, Kealan Foley and Sean Murphy, had fun with the boozy revels, while the curious girls were very stop-go.
Aisling Cooke was a fun TV Licence Inspector. Emmet Power was a suitable Seaney Keogh. John Doyle was like Tango man in an Orange suit as Old Mahon. Megan Stokes was a devouring Widda Quinn and I loved her man-eating confidence. Emma Kearney was a lively Peggy and Eamonn O’Neill caught the vain and boastful nature of Christy Mahon.
A cabaret style talent contest, Open Your Gob, was too long, too loose and weakly rehearsed. In fact, for a professionally directed show, there were many instances of poor or inadequate direction. Lighting was confusing with bright exteriors at night, sound was a mess and the stage management left a lot to be desired.