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So anyway,
Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Theatre review: Greta Garbo Came To Donegal 
25th-Jan-2010 11:54 pm
tragicomedavatar
The title sounds whimsical but Greta Garbo Came To Donegal is actually a statement of fact: During the sixties Garbo did indeed go to rural Ireland vhen she vanted to be alone, and from this Frank McGuinness creates a story that sees the reclusive star spend a few days getting involved in the affairs of a rather complicated household. The Hennessy family used to own the large house but financial problems meant they had to sell it to wealthy English artist Matthew (Daniel Gerroll.) In a fairly heavy-handed metaphor for the politics of the time, the family are now servants in the house they used to own. Occupying a sort of limbo between masters and servants is cockney former boxer Harry (Tom McKay) who's the gardener but also Matthew's boyfriend. So it's not an entirely unprepared household for the sexually ambiguous movie star to arrive in, supposedly because she's thinking of buying the house.

The heart of the family and of the play is Paulie, the old maid ("bachelor," Garbo corrects her) very well played by Michelle Fairley. She's also the one to instantly attract Garbo's attention, and the two women start a flirtation that's obviously doomed from the start. The script's very funny a lot of the time, although in the second act it veers dangerously close to soap opera and it suffers from multiple ending syndrome, which drags things a bit. But Nicolas Kent's production on Robert Jones' beautifully designed set is for the most part entertaining and has great performances all round. Inevitably I was particularly interested in Tom McKay as the laddish gay boy, he's rather lovely all over. And when I say lovely all over, what I mean isFULL-FRONTAL MALE NUDITY ALERT!Yes, the first of 2010! And it's his first scene, quite a funny one too. I was in the front row as well, so that was quite entertaining. He turned his back to the audience fairly quickly but I think he's circumcised. Oh did I forget to do a TMI warning? Oh you know by now what to expect if you read this ungodly blog.

I couldn't find a photo of McKay from this play on "the internet" so this one will have to do - he's dressed as a soldier so I'm not complaining anyway.

From the programme notes it looks like he's another one we'll be seeing on Being Human soon as well. Speaking of people who've been on telly stuff, Garbo is played (appropriately inscrutably) by Caroline Lagerfelt, at the moment probably best known as Serena's über-bitch grandmother in Gossip Girl, but she was also Spike's mother in Buffy! Which means after all these years, Tony Head has been pipped to the post as my first Buffy cast member on stage by just over a week (but I guess he still gets to be my first regular cast member.)

I feel this has strayed from the strict bounds of a theatre review. I'd try to bring it back on-topic but this is just how it goes sometimes, innit?

Greta Garbo Came To Donegal by Frank McGuinness is booking until the 20th of February at the Tricycle Theatre.
Comments 
26th-Jan-2010 04:45 am (UTC)
You are such a tease! I thought there was going to be a pic to match that alert. *sighs*

Slight change of topic, but my care package arrived. Thank you!!!
26th-Jan-2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
You are such a tease! I thought there was going to be a pic to match that alert. *sighs*

I'm afraid we haven't quite got to the stage yet where productions release full-frontal promo pics LOL.

Slight change of topic, but my care package arrived. Thank you!!!

Hurray, hope you enjoy!
26th-Jan-2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid we haven't quite got to the stage yet where productions release full-frontal promo pics LOL

Well, then, you really need to light a fire under someone and make them understand ticket sales would go through the roof if they did!
Seriously, no ... I didn't think that, but I did think possibly you had a pic stashed away from some other source you might share. You're resourceful that way, you know.

And I most definitely WILL enjoy my goodies, although it will probably be the weekend before I have much of a chance.
26th-Jan-2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
Oh and here, this article has some photos from this show (click them at the bottom of the page) but you still won't get any more flesh on show than when he's in a vest (that's a wifebeater in Americanian.) But also check out the lovely set! (Iz such a gay.)
26th-Jan-2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
you still won't get any more flesh on show than when he's in a vest (that's a wifebeater in Americanian.)

Thanks for the translation, but actually "vest" I understood. I've heard "wifebeater" before and knew it wasn't referring to a violent husband, but never knew what item of clothing it did mean until now. (Told you I was born on the wrong side of the pond).

(Iz such a gay.)

Which is wonderful because it means we can gush over some of the same guys! And yes, lovely set!
26th-Jan-2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Heh, I'm amused by the idea that I have to teach you American slang now. I just know that usually when you say vest to an American they think of a waistcoat, rather than what DanRad's wearing in your avatar.

Meanwhile in the UK, wifebeater is a nickname for Stella Artois beer.
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