The Shadow of a Gunman is playing at the Irish Reparatory Theatre located at 132 West 22nd Street. It runs one hour forty five minutes with one intermission. The play closes on May 25, 2019.
Sean O’Casey is the playwright. He was born March 30, 1880 and died September 18, 1964. The play premiered on April 12, 1923 at the Abbey Theatre.
The place and time is Dublin during the 1920 Irish War of Independence.
Donal Davoren (James Russell) is typing a poem he is composing. There is pounding on the windows and the apartment door. Someone is trying to wake up his roommate Seumus Shields (Michael Mellamphy). It’s one in the afternoon. Getting dressed he leaves for work.
Minnie Powell (Meg Hennessy) is listening to Donal recite his poem. By the look on her face we know she likes him.
Mrs. Henderson (Una Clancy) a neighbor, followed by Mr. Gallagher (Robert Langdon Lloyd) come into the apartment. He reads a letter complaining about his neighbors. It’s addressed to the IRA. He leaves it for Donal to give to them. The landlord Mr. Mulligan (Harry Smith) pops in to collect pass due rent. Mr. Maguire (Rory Duffy) leaves a bag under the bed. Tommy Owens (Ed Malone) is singing an IRA song.
Its late, Donal is reciting poetry, some of it is his. Seamus tells him to shut up and go to sleep. He finally does when he hears noises outside the apartment. There is gun shot and screams. Seamus tells him there is a stable in the back and he thinks they are using it to make bombs. Donal finds Mr. Gallagher letter and burns it. He looks in the bag Mr. Maguire brought and it contains bombs. Donal is frantic when Minnie comes in. She takes the bag saying if someone comes they won’t go to her floor.
Meanwhile Mrs. Grigson (Terry Donnelly) is frantic. She can’t find her husband. He went out to a pub. Mr. Grigson (John Keating) comes in drunk and is still drinking out of a bottle.
When they leave all hell breaks out. Police come in searching the place, tearing things apart. The Auxiliary solider (Harry Smith) puts a gun in Seumus mouth and threatens him.
They find the bombs and Minnie is arrested and taken outside.
Mrs. Grigson tells them what happening outside.
The first act is slow. The second act is better. We didn’t get to know much about the characters like what Donal and Seamus do for a living and how they know each other. It may be more about the country fighting for their independent from England and how it affected the lives of the common, innocent people. But it would have added to play and made it more enjoyable if we knew more about them.
The cast did a banner performance.
The set by Charlie Corcoran was amazing. It made you feel as if you were in the building.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
To read a can did interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.