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.