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Wonderful review of "The Sheare Street Social Club

ART AND THEATRE REVIEWS: The Sheare Street Social Club

We were delighted with Liam Murphy, the theatre critic’s review of Jim Cullinane’s play, ‘The Sheare Street Social Club.’   It went as follows: ‘There has been a renewed interest in social history and keeping aspects of community life to the fore in historical and social commemoration.  In the early days of Red Kettle Theatre, Jim Nolan, set several plays in the heart of Waterford memory as did Wexford's Billy Roach with his Wexford trilogy.  Waterford Youth Arts with Waterford Council funding have produced a series of social history reminiscences.  In Dungarvan, Waterford County Museum to support an archaeology project of excavation at Gallowshill, staged a 'dramatised read' or a rehearsed reading using local actors and adding mixed media of original songs and music from Donal Power.  John Power, the filmmaker, provided a set of video inserts to link the story of the Men's Social Club in Sheare Street Abbeyside in the late Fifties.  These inserts cut back and forth linking 'static' stage settings to a farewell drink in a local bar where sausages and brown bread were the 'nibbles'.
Written by James G Cullinane, it used a fictional drama with seven actors seated at a rehearsal table to reflect the grey Fifties with the lack of jobs or prospects, the hope of emigration in a story of friendship and hardship.  Of its nature, it had to show the demise and moving away of several characters, and this caused a repetition that did not serve the drama all that well.  But the audience loved the interaction, the banter, the crude chauvinistic language, the broad humour, and the hopes, secrets and revelations.
Experienced actors like Pat Power and Aaron Cowming contributed much to the veracity of the presentation, and Raymond Tobin-Walsh was a revelation in a serious role where he embodied a boastful, cynical commentary on women and life.  Ollie Kiely was excellent as the reflective Gusty. Other parts were played by Michael O'Mahony, Mark O'Rourke, Michael Drummy, with Martin Landers and Brian O'Connell in filmed inserts.  Deirdre Collender directed with an assured control, and a respect for the social and emotional aspect.  I hope this play will get support from the Decade of Commemorations or the Waterford Council.  It could with the addition of a brass band become a moving feast of memory involving actors and re-enactors.  It could also be made into a half-hour television feature.’

Watch this space for those of you who missed the play!!!.

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