Liam Hallahan buries his Da live on Stage – Collaboration Festival – Smock Alley – Review

Liam Hallahan buries his Da

Liam is the son of Charles Hallahan, who was an actor you have probably seen a hundred times and never really noticed. He’s one of those guys that was in a variety of movies and TV shows, but never as a leading man. He focused on parts where he ‘cried or died’ according to his son, and there are a many scenes of him breaking down or being murdered! He was in movies such as Dante’s Peak, The Thing, Pale Rider and the Twilight Zone movie (1983) and TV shows such as NYPD Blue and Murder She Wrote. He was also a theatre actor, and this love of theatre seems to have transferred to his son.

This short play has three actors, as Liam  is joined on stage by Shane Robinson and Hilary Bowen-Walsh for the ‘burial’. This is not a traditional burial, and no spade work is involved, but instead the piece focuses on the relationship between Liam and his late father. Charles died in 1997, when Liam was still a small child. He remembers his mother hurrying them to the hospital when they were watching TV in their pyjamas just before Christmas. Charles had heart problems and died at the age of 54.

We get to see excerpts from a variety of his Dad’s work (including a wonderful scene in ‘The Thing’). We also get to see pieces from the stage acting career of father and son, as these are recreated by the three actors on stage.  Hamlet and the Kentucky Cycle are performed in an irreverent tone. Liam also describes the reasons he became interested in acting, which wasn’t only to ‘get da shift’, or so he claims at least! He also talks of the similarities between him and his father and describes the rest of his family.

This is a fun piece that deals with this complicated issue with levity. The three young actors involved carry the performance with style, and there are some well performed set pieces and moments of physical comedy. There’s already talk that it will return later in the year, and it is perfect Fringe material. It’s one to watch out for.

Liam Hallahan buries his Da live on stage ran at the Boys School in Smock Alley as part of the Collaborations Festival. Collaborations runs until March 8th.

Some Yank’s Theatre Company can be found on Facebook here.

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