I went to see Daniel Radcliffe's new play yesterday & thought, as it's slightly HP related (he's the closest thing we've got to a living, breathing Harry!), I'd mention it here. So these are my rambling thoughts: (I should be revising maths, so obviously I'm on DA.)
It's called 'The Cripple of Innishman'. The curtain was a picture of bare, craggy rocks pointing out to sea - the very end of the Earth almost. As the lights went down, the clouds began to race across the sky and the curtain became permeable and finally see-through before being raised. It was very beautiful, and was perhaps a hint at the idea that things are not what they seem, about appearances and deception, that would be important in the play.
It was written in the 90s (I think. I should probably google but, meh) and set just before the Second World War. I remember when it was set because of the part where a good-for-nothing gossip and his drunkard mother are flicking through the paper. They stop to laugh at the funny mustache of a little German fella, before wishing good luck to him and flicking on. Lols. It takes place on an Irish island, one that's next to an island visited by a Hollywood film crew come to make The Man of Aran www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXYC5S… .
I really enjoyed it. Some of the humour, actually most if not all of the humour was pretty harsh and blunt. To me, it would start out sort of like, 'I probably shouldn't be laughing at this...but it is kind of funny!' then as a scene progressed would sometimes become progressively more questionable and uncomfortable. There seemed to be lots of people in the audience who didn't notice/mind this slide though, and just totally guffawed all the way. Which was funny in itself.
Maybe because it wasn't written by someone who grew up in Ireland, the dialogue seemed a bit tiresomely Irish but I thought the cast were very good with it. Daniel Radcliffe plays the cripple of the title, who's sick of the island, sick of being "cripple Billy" and hopes this film crew will be his chance to escape. He was quite understated. I'm not a big fan of the films but I get the impression that, as they went on, he often played Harry in a less is more kind of a way, and he did the same here which really worked; He came across as half desperate, half resigned, and (excuse my maths) a little bit fond of everyone, underneath it all.
His character was also an orphan who wanted to find out the truth about his parents' death. I don't know if it was anything to do with these similarities but I mostly felt like I was watching Daniel Racliffe play Cripple Billy, rather than being able to completely believe in the character. I'd guess it was more to do with the fact that he's just so darn famous, and that I recognised so much gesture and intonation from interviews. Also, his accent sometimes sounded more English than Irish even to me - a born, bread and buttered Londoner (I always feel like you hear difference more than similarity).
That kind of olden days, very very West Irish accent is properly hard though. There was only one actor (the rest of the cast are Irish) who was really convincing. Even Irish actors struggle with it www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/cu… . I might be being a bit harsh though, perhaps those characters are rubbing off on me! He was good. There were one or two big, emotional shocks (no spoilers!) where I was completely 'in' the play and really felt something. So when it counted, he delivered. Anyway, I've probably rambled on more than enough for now, so I'll leave it there. xx