Opening Night Cast:
T. H. Glenney
Niblo's Garden, (8/02/1869 - 9/04/1869)
Opening Date: Aug 02, 1869
Closing Date: Sep 04, 1869
Total Performances: 30
J.W. Brutone, Dan Bryant, Rose Eytinge, Josephine Fiddes
Alexander Fitzgerald, J. Lynch, Dominick Murray
Haverly's 14th Street Theatre
Opening Date: Sep 07, 1903
Closing Date: Oct 31, 1903
Total Performances: 65
Edward Aiken, S. Anderson, G. L. Baker, Edith Barker
John Birch, Marie Dibrook, Maggie Fielding, Joseph French
Daniel Gilfether, Beatrice Harris, V. Hathaway, Thomas E. Jackson
Frank M. Kendrick, Anne Leonard, Andrew Mack (see poster below)
N. Mackey, O. Mann, Luke Martin, Thomas McGrane, John Napier, Marie Napier
Thomas Paulton, M. E. Reddy, John S. Robertson, Florence Russel, Lizzie Sanger
Emma Scully, Anna Turner, Anna Wilson, May Wilson
Dion Boucicault's stage-Irishry and mastery of spectacle brought him fame in the 19th century,
but can be a tricky proposition today.
With its noble Irish rebels and gormless peasants being chased by redcoats through the Wicklow hills,
this melodrama from 1865 seems to require a tongue-in-cheek approach. How else to deliver a line such as:
"My own land! Bless every blade of grass upon your green cheeks!"?
Director Mikel Murfi approaches this with a nod and a wink, delivering a family-friendly show with
characters played like children let
loose with a dressing-up box. The cast of 15 hurtles through the opening scenes, moving bits of scenery,
bouncing on trampolines and sliding down hills. But the plot's elaborate convolutions – involving a
rebel on the run after the 1798 Rising,
love triangles, mistaken identity and betrayal – need time to take their course; the busyness of the
staging runs out of steam before the two and a half hours of eloquent declamation get their due.
The most successful scenes are when Boucicault's lyricism is allowed to speak for itself, underscored
delicately by Conor Linehan's live piano.
As Shaun the Post, Aaron Monaghan strikes a perfect balance between irony and passion: his
threatened execution is genuinely poignant, matched by the sincerity of Mary Murray
as his beloved, Arrah Meelish.
Other performances adopt one note – of shouting exaggeration – and stick to it, so that the
courtroom scene becomes a trial for the audience as much as the defendant. Yet caricature is
only part of the point: by portraying soldiers who
that decent individuals get caught up in larger forces over which they have no control.
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