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The Government Inspector at the Abbey Theatre (Review)

Jimmy Fay’s version of The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui was one of the highlights of the past few years at the Abbey, so seeing the director handle Nokolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector is an interesting premise. While Fay handles the play wonderfully well, with a (mostly) solid cast and superb staging choices, I can’t help but feel that Roddy Doyle’s translation of the play is just a bit “on the nose”, striving for a bit of forced relevance with countless references to “brown paper envelopes.” Perhaps the best indication of the show comes from the wonderful inset in the programme, illustrated in a pleasant enough style by Irish Times cartoonist M. Turner – a mock-up cut-out selection that includes mock-up heads of Bertie Ahern and Charlie Haughey. One senses that the production might have had a bit more bite a few years back.

Family values...

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Gift Grub in Drogheda

I love Gift Grub. I really do. Due to traveling arrangements to work, I seldom get to hear it on the radio any more, so I jumped at the chance to see it live in Drogheda. For those unfamiliar with the concept, they’re a series of softly satirical sketches which run on the commercial radio station Today FM, gently mocking all manner of high profile Irish figures – begining with former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and gradually ballooning out to cover Ronan Keating, Roy Keane and even international celebrities like Jose Mourinho. The series of sketches have enjoyed all manner of successes, even releasing singles ‘Jose and his Technicolour Overcoat’ and Keane’s ‘I Think I’d Better Leave Right Now’. The audience last night was treated to fantastic renditions over both songs, including an encore of Technicolour Overcoat (with karaoke ‘woah-oh’ thrown in). It was a good night.


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