11 hours ago
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Get Out Of My Face, Theater
Last night, the wife and I saw Conor McPherson's The Seafarer, a play set in one room that takes place mostly on Christmas Eve. We saw it at the Arden Theatre, which is a great intimate venue in Philadelphia.
The Seafarer is really a simple story of men fighting their demons, both metaphorically and literally. I was impressed by how well McPherson's writing managed to inject laugh-out-loud humor into a play that was at times a very dark meditation on life.
The five actors all turned in wonderful performances too - Joe Hickey, Anthony Lawton, Brian Russell, Greg Wood, and William Zielinski - so I recommend the play itself and the actors without reservation. It really was a treat to see a well-written, well-acted play, something I don't do enough of.
The title of my post is a poor play on words, referring to In-Yer-Face Theatre, a phrase used to describe "young playwrights who present vulgar, shocking, and confrontational material on stage as a means of involving and affecting their audience." There's nothing vulgar about McPherson's writing, unless you find the f word objectionable, but the material is confrontational and at times shocking.
If you'd like to learn more about Conor McPherson, check out this interview. If great actors like Ciaran Hinds are drawn to McPherson's material, he must be doing something right.