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The Seafarer (Irish Repertory Theatre)

From 40 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining, Funny

About the show

Irish Repertory Theatre's revival of this 2008 Tony-nominated play stars Matthew Broderick as Mr. Lockhart, a mysterious visitor to Dublin whose arrival turns a game of poker into a perilous gamble for one player's soul. More…

After losing yet another job, Sharky has returned home to build a new, sober existence with his cantankerous elder brother, Richard, recently blinded in a drunken accident. But it’s Christmas Eve, and the drinks are flowing as old friends convene for an annual game of poker. This year, an immortal stranger from Sharky’s past arrives, raising the stakes to eternal consequence.

Member Reviews (40)


Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining, Funny
Avg Score

Disappointing, Great writing, Slow, Well acted, Edgy

See it if McPherson's dark, nifty Irish parable of a literal 'Hell on Earth' in a decrepit house w/ a bunch of drunk Irish bros Great ensemble & set

Don't see it if Star Broderick doesn't quite muster the needed menace as 'Mr. Lockhart' Merely competent not malevolent O' Reilly's direction a little staid

Disappointing, Slow, Confusing, Great acting

See it if you like small, intimate productions, or are eager to see Matthew Broderick on stage.

Don't see it if you have a hard time understanding thick accents or prefer some speed to your story. This one takes nearly an entire act before it starts.

Banal, Disappointing, Great writing, Slow, Overrated

See it if you want to see a play by Conor McPherson on stage.

Don't see it if you don't like slow plodding Irish plays.

Also I saw the original production on Broadway—and still have fond memories... Read more Read less

Exquisite, Great writing

See it if You want to see a straight up Gritty drama

Don't see it if You are looking for a bunch of gimmicks. This is just great writing and great acting

Ambitious, Disappointing, Intelligent

See it if you want to see Matthew Broderick play the devil with not much menace, and would enjoy a rather depressing slice of life with a twist.

Don't see it if you struggle to understand heavy Irish accents, and lots and lots (and lots) of drinking is a trigger for you.

Also The balcony is partial view and should be sold as such.

Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you like Mr. McPherson's stories, Irish stories that develop slowly, Irish craic (lively conversation), a wonderful Andy Murray as Sharky

Don't see it if you want the character Mr. Lockhart (played by Matthew Broderick) to be creepier or if you can't understand Irish accents

Also I brought my daughter (25) to her first play there so made sure we sat... Read more Read less

Funny, Great writing, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if you like Irish plays (think McDonagh), unsettling plays, and/or lots of mixed emotion.

Don't see it if heavy accents, heavy drinking, or profanities disturb you.

Also I don't want to say to much, lest I spoil the surprises, but be ready ... Read more Read less

Riveting, Intense, Great acting, Edgy

See it if you've seen it before and were profoundly moved. You will enjoy this production very much

Don't see it if You have no patience with drunkenness and slovenly behavior.

Nuanced performances and direction

See it if If you adore McPerson, intricately developed performances of unlikeable characters don't intimidate you, and a look at good and evil appeals

Don't see it if you have no tolerance for drunken Irishmen on stage (and can't get over the stereotypes)

Also Not my favorite by this playwright but a fine production, beautifully ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intense

See it if you want to see perhaps the most interesting role that Matthew Broderick, cast against type, has ever played, along with wonderful writing.

Don't see it if you are easily frustrated by the difficulty of understanding Irish accents or if you are not open to plots with a religious dimension.

Also All of the actors are excellent. I loved the idea of casting Matthew B... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Funny, Intelligent, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you like McPherson, a playwright who examines profound moral issues, but can be vulgar and hilarious too.

Don't see it if you're put off by characters who are serious drunkards living in semi-squalor or dislike any hint of the supernatural or strong accents.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you like plot twists and a small, intimate cast in a small, intimate setting

Don't see it if you can't understand Irish accents or don't like to see how the lower class lives

Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if If love McPherson plays. An Interesting, liquor laden slice of Irish Life theater.

Don't see it if Don't like genre of Irish plays or playwright McPherson.Can't listen to Irish accented dialogue.Offended by profanity & drunks.

Entertaining, Great acting, An excellent production of a difficult play

See it if Not a great play, but this is Matthew Broderick's best performance in many many years, maybe decades.

Don't see it if You have trouble understanding Irish accents. First 30 mins was difficult. Got better after Broderick entered.

Banal, Great acting, Excruciating, Disappointing, Intense

See it if you care more about acting and character development than plot. This is a great show for cynics and pessimists. Some actors are great.

Don't see it if you can't overlook Broderick's horrible Irish accent and how much he is miscast for his role. The plot is trite. lots of hard drinking.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if If you're a Conor McPherson fan, this is one of his most entertaining yarns. The ensemble is quite strong and it's a fine production overall

Don't see it if If you saw the original Broadway production, this won't eclipse it. I enjoyed it being so fond of the play, but I missed the original cast.

Also Irish Rep does typically fine work with limited resources. Their (rela... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you love the Irish plays filled with "down in their luck" men drinking too much, but who have a great gift of the gab

Don't see it if You have trouble deciphering the Irish brogue.

Absorbing, Great acting, Quirky, Intelligent, Dark humor

See it if You like well-written Irish plays about lost men who use alcohol to escape the sins of their past.

Don't see it if You are turned off by excessive drinking onstage.

Also The acting was really good but Matthew Broderick was the weak link. I ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Riveting

See it if you can appreciate pathos and humor in the same situation, and want to see some great acting in an intimate theater

Don't see it if you don't appreciate the Irish brogue, or only laugh at antic humor

Also The basic premise of this play has been presented in other works from ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if The Irish Rep (which I always find to be high quality theater no matter what they do).

Don't see it if You don't like Matthew Broderick. He's very good in this.

Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Wonderful play

See it if The play grabs you . You care and you are involved

Don't see it if If you have trouble withIrish accent

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if Great ensemble acting of a good story with a surprising twist at the end.

Don't see it if You don't like Irish accents and heavy drinking.

During previews
Disappointing, Nice set, Slow, Cliched

See it if A lot of work to get to what amounts to one or two key moments. A story that’s been told before. Broderick was ok. One actor was exhausting.

Don't see it if Your don’t like Irish dramas or drinking.... lots and lots of drinking.

During previews
Slow, Absorbing, Funny, Moving, Disturbing

See it if Alcoholic friends encounter the devil on Xmas Eve. Well developed characters, physical humor, and a plot twist revealing hidden meaning.

Don't see it if You would be turned off by heavy drinking and accents. You are not curious why the playwright is dwelling on a bunch of losers.

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like Irish ghost stories, character-based plots that can be quite funny, great ensembles, delicious plot twists, fan of Conor McPherson

Don't see it if you are a fan of Mathew Broderick who disappoints significantly, don't like plays about the devil, have trouble with thick Irish accents

April 18th, 2018
"O'Reilly's production is perhaps a bit too scrupulously realistic...But if you're willing to forgive the absence of miracles, this 'Seafarer' offers a lucid and straightforward reading of a play that seems to grow only richer with increased acquaintance...McPherson's dialogue continually coaxes ...
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April 18th, 2018
"Vivid performances, believable boozing and McPherson's gorgeous dialogue. But there's a hole just under the waterline, a single error that makes the play founder. In an otherwise strong company, visiting star Broderick is both too obvious to ignore and too wrong to right...Without a serious anta...
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April 18th, 2018
"A solid, entertaining revival...'The Seafarer' slowly unfolds its murkier depths under a surface of deceptively casual banter. It's not a play where much 'happens'. Its characters' primary actions are talking and drinking...As Mr. Lockhart himself, Broderick is an interesting choice, compelling ...
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April 18th, 2018
"O'Reilly demonstrates a clear affinity for the playwright with this authentic-feeling and well-acted production. The ensemble delivers fully lived-in performances, mining their characters' drunken bombast and foolishness for all its comic worth...The problem, sad to say, is Broderick...Without a...
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