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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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The Devil Eire Effect: Historical Films and Villains…

I wrote a little while ago about how suspicious I am concerning “true stories” that make it to the big screen. Truth be told, life doesn’t exactly fit into the three act structure or one-hundred-and-twenty minutes of screen time – I understand that changes need to be made. Real life characters are often boiled down or reduced to mere collections of quirks, the hero faces a more streamlined obstacle than they did in real life and sometimes even ends up a far better person for it. However, I was sitting down watching The King’s Speech at the weekend and I couldn’t help wondering if we really needed for Albert’s elder brother David and his American fiancée Wallis to be portrayed as nothing more than scheming villains, just because we needed to root for Albert a little more.

The Simpsons?

Note: The ever-wonderful TV Tropes describe this as a “Historical Villain Upgrade” if you’re looking for more examples of what I am talking about…

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