The Playboy of the Western World
31st January - 4th February 2017
With just over two weeks to go to opening night, rehearsals for The Playboy of the Western World are in full swing and the cast are getting to grips with the exacting rhythms and cadences of Synge’s magnificently rich and poetic language.
The play tells the compelling story of a frightened fugitive who is transformed into a triumphant hero and carries all before him before getting his comeuppance, all in the space of less than twenty-four hours. At the end, everything has changed and nothing has changed, and each and every one of the characters has, as they say, been on a journey – not so very different then from that other masterpiece recently in the Little, The Wizard of Oz.
Steven Adams has battled the effects of a nasty and persistent bout of flu to conjure up on stage a sublime evocation of a humble early 20th century County Mayo public house or shebeen, in which all the action takes place. He is also busy learning his lines as Jimmy, a rather gullible pub regular, unlike his drinking partner Philly, who soon smells a rat when he starts putting two and two together in the Playboy’s story. This will be Jason Lever’s debut at BLT. Nik Balfe, as the Playboy, is enjoying being fought over by two “fine women of Ireland”, Charlotte Atkinson as Pegeen Mike and Dee Forrest as the Widow Quin, as he strikes fear into Ben Taylor as Shawn Keogh, who sees his hopes of marrying Pegeen coming unstuck. Mike Skinner is Pegeen’s father, a pub landlord who can vouch for the quality of his merchandise – clearly playing against type – and John Hartnett gets to sport a gruesome gash to the scalp, as the Playboy’s da, courtesy of Patti Griffiths’s make-up magic. Three peasant girls, played by Lana Jordan, Abigail Hyde and Sorcha Harris, also get the hots for the Playboy and earn the rough edge of jealous Pegeen’s biting tongue.
As befits a play where it’s the women who wear the trousers, I am kept in line as a first-time director at the Little by my assistant director Flossie Clements, my costume mistress better half, Mossy Campbell, and the stage management team of Lynne Rule Peters and Juliet Hartnett.
Nick Roche, Director
The Playboy of the Western World opens on Tuesday 31st January and runs through until Saturday 4th February.
Tickets available in the usual ways, online here or via telephone on 0844 888 0432.