Tuesdays With Morrie
The Viking Theatre, Clontarf
Directed by Breda Cashe
Reviewed By Madi O’Carroll
It’s not often that a person might find a quaint, homemade theatre up the narrow stairs of an old Irish pub in Clontarf. As though stepping through the Narnian wardrobe, this is the experience to be had when going to see the production of Tuesdays With Morrie in the Viking Theatre, the transformed upstairs of Connolly’s pub in Clontarf, Dublin.
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, this play follows the autobiographical story of author Mitch Albom and his relationship with his dying college professor, Morrie Schwartz. Every Tuesday they meet, and every Tuesday Mitch is challenged by Morrie’s admirable vigour for life – even on the throes of death. The tiny room barely seats fifty audience members on whatever pub stool, kitchen chair or even old cinema seat you can find. I had the experience of sitting in the front row, a daring choice with the stage nearly on top of me. It paid off, adding nicely to the already intimate mood of the play.
The performances from the two men, Andrew Murray as Albom and Terry Byrne as Morrie, are truly impressive and they share a great dynamic together onstage. Both actors brought tears of laughter and of sorrow to my eyes with their naturalistic approach to their characters. They developed subtly yet consistently as the play progressed. With a simple, neat set, fabulous music and precise lighting it is clear that the raw truth of Albom’s story is the main event, something that needs nothing more than an attentive audience and fantastic performers-neither of which were lacking!
To conclude, this play causes the audience member to go on a necessary trip into the self, and to question what really makes life fulfilling. In the loving but often complicated relationship between a man and an eternal teacher we see the relationships that we have, that we sometimes lose and what priceless knowledge we acquire from them.
Runs from 8th – 25th August.
Reviewed August 15th.