Thursday, May 18, 2006


Saying very much about a show that hasn't yet opened can be a thorny matter. That whole not-having-seen-it thing is more of a handicap than some think. Luckily, for the large number of shows that arrive this way after an opening run in Galway (courtesy of Druid theatre company) my Auntie Annette is often on hand to provide the early word on those out-of-town debuts.

This Connemara-based mother of five is dutiful in her attendance of Druid shows, but equally unstinting in her appraisals of what she sees. Not an ardent fan of Synge (despite living within sight of the Arran Islands) her word on Druid's extended cycle of the playwright's work last year was "I hope they get back to doing some ordinary plays soon." When the Druid returned, this year, to performing contemporary work, with Enda Walshe's The Walworth Farce, Annette's response was a slightly quizzical thumbs up. "It was hilarious, but mad."

And the Druid's latest show, Gary Hynes's version of John B Keane's The Year of The Hiker? When it opened in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, earlier this month, Annette, bad knee and all, was on hand to encapsulate the evening. "I enjoyed it," she says. "But I didn't like it."



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