Irish Rep presents an evening of three classic Irish plays, 'The Pot of Broth,' by William Butler Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory, 'The Rising of the Moon,' by Lady Gregory, and 'Riders to the Sea,' by John Millington Synge. More…
A simple policeman looks into his heart and turns himself into a wide-eyed folk hero. A hungry trickster makes a hearty meal of a stone and a song. A poignant tale is told of a solitary man washed up by the sea on the faraway coast of Donegal. With their romantic views of the past, these three plays are full of politics, wild humor, unique displays of language, and finally, deep tragedy.
"Under the incisive direction of Charlotte Moore and performed by a nimble cast, all three pieces -- two of which are real rarities -- are given the best possible hearing...'Three Small Irish Masterpieces' is a golden opportunity to catch the work of writers who, these days, are more famous than produced. In addition to being eminently stageworthy, they are living remnants of a literary movement that changed Irish culture forever." Full Review
"Putting the word 'Masterpieces' in the title seems to set an impossibly high bar...And yet the Irish Repertory Theatre clears it (and then some) in this delightful excursion to Éire that packs more dramatic red meat into 75 minutes than most plays can achieve in much longer formats...The acting is central to these intensely human stories, and director Moore allows her cast to work their magic...You know what you're in for when you go to a show like this — and you really should go." Full Review
"The only thing 'small' about the stunning production is the intimate stage upon which these one-act gems are lovingly played...A trifecta of brilliance portraying a slice of Irish life gone by...Even without social or historical context, each stands on its own as a work of outstanding merit and just darn good entertainment...The entire ensemble cast delivered the goods throughout with superb acting...Well paced and the transitions between them seamless." Full Review
"These really are little Irish masterpieces, enacted by an excellent cast and crisply directed...'The Rising of the Moon'...Sheds light on issues of human relationships and moral principles. It is a very compelling piece...'Riders to the Sea'...One is emotionally pierced by Donnelly's outstanding performance...Moore directs with the utmost simplicity that brings out the essence of the writing without unnecessary flourishes. The result is an experience well worth the visit." Full Review
"There is something primal and poetic...That’s thanks to the stellar writers who capture the pathos of the rural Irish at the turn of the 20th century...Deftly directed by Moore, the actors, who often play double roles, mine this emotional terrain with true feeling...'Three Small Irish Masterpieces' is, in its own quiet way, a big achievement." Full Review
"The ensemble acting is seamlessly executed here, with many performers taking on multiple roles and doubling as musicians. Nobody hogs the spotlight but a true ensemble effort...Nothing but kudos belongs to the creative team...You will feel that you have been transported to the Emerald Isle itself...All in all, this triple-decker is a golden theatrical experience...A journey into Ireland's literary past and you don't have to travel thousands of miles to experience it." Full Review
"All three are 'folk plays,' so to speak, or 'genre pieces,' dealing with members of the Irish underclass whose lives may be bleak but are nonetheless redolent with vibrant verbal dexterity and spiritual resilience…While only one of these plays is a universally acknowledged masterpiece, they are all masterfully done. For that, lovers of Irish drama interested in seeing what it had to offer just as it was about to achieve international recognition will be deeply grateful." Full Review
"In truth, only the much better known Synge offering, 'Riders to the Sea,' could rightly be called a masterpiece, though Lady Gregory's 'The Rising of the Moon' comes very close to earning this accolade as well. As for the equally obscure 'The Pot of Broth,' which Yeats wrote in collaboration with Lady Gregory, it's by far the lightest of the three works, both in tone and content. While it's entertaining enough...calling it a masterpiece is, at best, a tribute to good old-fashioned Irish hype... Full Review
"A pleasant enough evening...'The Pot of Broth'...O’Hara plays the tramp...The pleasure in the play comes from seeing the way he hoodwinks Sibby...'The Rising of the Moon' has some interest politically, perhaps, but is the weakest of the three...Almost as soon as 'Riders' commences, it’s clear that Synge’s play is several cuts above its predecessors...For fans of Irish theater, these short pieces, if not indispensable, come around too seldom to miss." Full Review
"All in all, these 'masterpieces' serve as a master class in the efforts of the Literary Resistance Playwrights...One caveat: with few exceptions, the production feels representational; that is, the characters stand for this or that and don’t easily break through to a realized, distinct identity...These one-acts feel like old friends on the one hand, and a tad stale on the other...Period drama — even written by these masters — seems to demand more indulgence than I could muster." Full Review
See it if you want to see three gems from the Irish theatre that are rarely performed. Both the acting and the direction are exquisite.
Don't see it if you don't enjoy one-act plays.
See it if you want a dose of Irish culture without reading Ulysses. I felt like I was in an Irish cottage at the turn of the last century--great set!
Don't see it if Things Irish don't delight you. These are three delicate pieces, beautifully portrayed, acted and directed.
See it if you appreciate outstanding acting, writing, and direction even in an extremely small-scaled setting, especially if you love Irish literature
Don't see it if you only like big productions and light-hearted plots.
See it if you love Irish theater. These are three examples of tightly wrought short gems, beautifully acted and directed. Brava Charlotte Moore.
Don't see it if one-act plays are not your thing.
See it if you like intimate venues with a small cast telling stories you have never heard
Don't see it if you don't know how to whisper as sound amplifies in here or you want something uplifting
See it if If you want to see three short plays from Irish playwrights. The first two stories of getting conned are funny. The last is touching.
Don't see it if Don’t care for Irish theatre or want longer length material.
See it if Well acted. beautifully directed by Charlotte Moore, fine writing and amusing and intelligent. Amazing use of tiny space!
Don't see it if If Irish classics don't interest you
See it if Beautifullly rendered chamber plays depicting Irish fortitude, black humor & independence Synge's Riders/Sea is the jewel in the crown
Don't see it if Lady Gregory's play rather obtuse & feels sluggish despite Moore's best efforts Staging a bit claustrophobic at times but minor drawbacks
See it if you are interested in Irish plays & history, want to learn more about Synge, Yeats & Lady Gregory, hear grand Irish accents
Don't see it if you don't like one act plays especially an evening of them, have no interest in Irish theatre or history, or don't like Irish humor
See it if You have Irish sensibility. One was whimsical, one political and one tragic. Captures it all. Great acting in a small space. Very intimate
Don't see it if You’re not good with a brogue
See it if for the pleasure of seeing work by important founding Irish voices; fine acting and singing; poetic writing; captures the era beautifully
Don't see it if period pieces, one act plays or Irish grief are not your things
See it if 3 well performed short plays that transported me to the 1904 Irish countryside. Period folk music. Levity, camaraderie, and grief.
Don't see it if A bit dated & cliched but charming. Captures the essence of peasant life in that time and place.
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