Archiv der Kategorie: Gate Theatre Dublin

Dont’t Worry, Just Laugh

Roddy Doyle: The Snapper, Gate Theatre Dublin (Director: Róisín McBrinn)

By Sascha Krieger

Sometimes, books have a lasting impact on an entire society. Roddy Doyle’s famed and beloved „Barrytown trilogy“ is among those, a defining moment of Dublin identity, a Dublin that is urban, modern, decidedly working class. The quirky, lovable characters, the torching one-liners, the equal love of life and family and expletives helped shape the identity of not just the capital city but the entire country away from the grip of the past, the demons of the church state, the backwards politics of agrarianism and a neutrality that was decidedly anti-British. Sure, the working-class Dublin depicted left out its darkest parts, poverty, the drug epidemic, the trauma of unemployment, violence and crime, the lingering repression of an overpowering church that seemed to have missed the love part of the Christian message. Things are a little harmless, a little cozy and very much optimistic. The books celebrate the vibrancy, the stubborn lust for life at the lower end of the social spectrum, while not giving a sociologically accurate portrait of this part of society. They’re about spirit, not social criticism: Hardly any books could be further from the Ireland of Frank McCabe’s Angelas’s Ashes.

Image: Ste Murray

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>Samuel Beckett: Krapp’s Last Tape, Gate Theatre, Dublin (Director: Michael Colgan)

>An almost bare, black stage, in its middle a weak lamp, beneath it a heavy, old, battered desk. The last remnant of civilisation, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, of nothingness. Behind it, Krapp, an old, sick man, long past his prime, long past any human contact. Left behind in blackness, Krapp, played by Michael Gambon, directed by Gate Director Michael Colgan, is the essential Beckettian character: a lonely figure lost in the void without hope or future. There is one dim light left, one last island of civilisation bexond which there is nothing.

This Krapp is staged with a tenderness that does not deny the desperation and hopelessness, but avoids the sentimentality that endangers his dignity. Gambon’s Krapp accepts that there is nothing left for him, but he is a t peace with himself, resigned to his fate but not dead inside. A deep exitentialism, softened with an earnest humanism flows through this production which is straightforward, simplistic even, and because of this stronger than many others. This is the way it is, it tells us, and the only thing we can do, is accept it with heads held high. Don’t fight our demons, especially those brought on by memory, but accept them into our lives.

Krapp has never been more honest and thereform never more touching than in this remarkable Gate produktion.

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