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Gagarin Way

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file0384Gagarin Way
Amaryllis Theatre Company in a co-production
with Inis Nua Theatre
The Adrienne, Sansom & 21 Streets
Jan. 20-Feb. 7, 2010

It takes a long time to get going and some of the accents are confusing. But Scotsman Gregory Burke’s dark and darkly comic play Gagarin’s Way is worth a look. The play is being produced by Amaryllis Theatre with Inis Nua at the Adrienne on Sansom Street. It concerns a botched kidnapping and the empathy and outrage the crime produces in the kidnappers.

Gary (Jered McLenigan) and Eddie ( Jared Delaney) are mixed up fellows, factory workers wanting to make a political statement that to the rest of us isn’t gonna make a whole lot of sense. There’s a security guard who wishes he hadn’t come back for his hat. A corporate exec who is not what they took him for. He sounds English but like the rest of them is Scots. Given the range of accents, I never did get straight what country we were in, it sounded like Ireland but no, I found out later it was Scotland. Only Gary sounds a Scotsman; the stuff coming out of his mouth is, intentionally, tough and thick,
Only the hostage, Frank, (Brian McCann) speaks consistently, a Surrey English the character has trained himself to enunciate.

Burke’s play ranges far and wide. Politics, cosmonauts, the Sixties. Philosophy. Anger. Rage. No intermission. A good thing but it needs trimming. The actors give their all and then some in the side venue of the Adrienne.

Amaryllis is devoted to accessibility for all. Inis Nua (pronunce: Inish New-a) to contemporary plays from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England.

The accents sound self- conscious, not always, just often enough. The hardest to ‘get’ is McLenigan’s. He’s the guy with a chip and surely psychosis. He enjoys violence. Gary’s voice is thick and rough. He talks mean, which is credible. The part has some book talk which could be credible, the Irish (and English) know their reading matter and the stuff about Sartre and Genet would interest a violent mind. Still it gives pause…

If you can make it through the first- half hour, the production should repay the effort; McCann (Frank) is superb as the steadfast hostage from Surrey, the irony as secure as the Surrey accent. Kevin Meehan (Tom) is convincing as the fumbling youth. Delaney (Eddie) goes in and out of conviction ( and accent) as a failed socialist, anarchist, wannabe sensitive.

Tom Reing, Inis Nua’s artistic director, directs the brutal, provocative Gagarin Way. His way (and McLenigan’s) with the final scene in this shoebox of a venue is masterful.


Written by Lesley Valdes

January 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Posted in 1, Art, Drama, Good Reads