Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Towering Achievement

You won’t have noticed, I’m sure, but yours truly and family (typical wife-and-child pose, right) were away last week, soaking up the exotic delights and occasional sightings of sunshine in North Donegal, and very enjoyable it all was too. Hopefully I’ll get time to do a little work on behalf of the Donegal tourist board in the next couple of days, but for now allow me to point you in the direction of some very fine theatre that will be available in Dublin over the next week or so. Joe Joyce gets in touch with this to say:
“My play The Tower is being performed next week as part of the Dublin James Joyce Festival in The New Theatre in Temple Bar. I’d be grateful if you could forward this email to (and/or tweet) anyone who might be interested in what James Joyce and Oliver St John Gogarty (aka Stephen Dedalus and Buck Mulligan) would have to say to each other now, with a century and more of hindsight.
  “Tom Hickey and Bosco Hogan, directed by Caroline FitzGerald, will be reprising their respective roles as Joyce and Gogarty at lunchtimes, 1pm, from Monday to Friday (18th to 22nd June) and on Saturday (23rd June) at 12.00 noon.”
  As it happens, I reviewed The Tower twice for the Sunday Times over the last decade or so, which means I’m in a position to recommend the experience whole-heartedly. To wit:
The Tower
The ghosts of James Joyce (Tom Hickey) and Oliver St. John Gogarty (Bosco Hogan) return to haunt the Martello Tower in Sandycove, there to bicker about art, their sundered friendship and their respective legacies. Joe Joyce’s two-hander is a tragi-comic piece that occasionally diverts into the realms of the surreal, such as when the terse Joyce and the loquacious Gogarty duet on a croaky version of The Beatles’ Help!. The overall tone is one of bitterness and regret, however: the prissily self-righteous Joyce greets Gogarty as ‘Oliver St. Jesus Gogarty’, and bemoans the latter’s ‘witless witticisms’, while Gogarty berates Joyce for being a parasite who fed on the misery of others, with an insatiable appetite for ‘drink, whores and depravity’. Hickey and Hogan are here reprising their roles from previous productions, and the director, Caroline FitzGerald, is content to allow the pair plough their well-worn furrows. It’s a wise decision, as both actors are comfortable in the skins of their characters, but also highly attuned to the nuances of one another’s performance. The result is that, despite the sedate pace and frequent digressions into deft wordplay, the production crackles with tension as both men strive to establish retrospective vindication of their actions. - Declan Burke
  There’s more information about the play and the other events in the festival at

1 comment:

seana said...

I wish I could see it.