The Good Thief – Bewleys Cafe Theatre – Preview and Interview

The Good Thief

Preview by MQ: The Good Thief by Conor McPherson – Presented by Greenlight Productions

Bewley’s Café Theatre, – Tues 18th to Fri 21st @8pm

Mill Theatre Dundrum, (Maureen O’Hara Studio) – Sat 22nd and Sunday 23rd – @8pm, tickets €10

A small-time criminal walks into the wrong job. The woman he loves has left him for his boss, his boss wants him dead. Hardboiled, gripping fast-paced, tense. Part confession meets part road movie. The Good Thief is like a fly in amber, a snapshot of Dublin and Ireland 20 years ago, of life before mobiles and the internet, before the smoking ban, before the Boom and the Crash, before Love/Hate. It is also a study of unexpected compassion, even in the most brutal of places and that is the quality that makes it timeless.

So says the blurb on The Good Thief’s FB page and PR.

It has been 20 years since Conor McPherson wrote The Good Thief. The monologue was awarded a Stewart Parker award in 1995, This Lime Tree Bower won a Thames TV award in 1996 and McPherson went on to become one of the most renowned Irish playwrights of our time. This week, McPherson’s latest work The Night Alive was nominated for an Olivier, and Ardal O’Hanlon, currently starring in McPherson’s The Weir has also been Olivier nominated for his role.

Greenlight Productions originally staged The Good Thief alongside Rum and Vodka in a disused room in a pub in 1998, then again in Glasgow in 2000.

So fifteen years later, why stage it again?

‘We thought it would be good to see how 15 years have changed us and changed our perception of the monologue, or has it at all’ says director, Audrey Devereux. ‘It’s a cracking good story, and doing it this time round we noticed a lot more light and dark in it than before, which makes it even better, theatrically. Plus it has been fun working together again.’

‘Doing it this time round, there’s more coming out in the story, you remember parts, but then you get an insight into something, that you might not have had all that time ago.’ says Dublin-based actor Wayne Leitch. Leitch, the original actor in Greenlight’s production, also took the show to Glasgow in 2000, where his performance was praised.

They decided to stage it again just before Christmas.

‘It’s a one man show, 55 minutes, no interval, so I’ve been kind of ‘in-training’ for it for a while. It’s just you, some lights and the audience.’ he adds.

Colm Maher, resident designer in Bewley’s Café Theatre, is designing lights for the show, but apart from that there is no set, no other theatrical devices.

Does this make it harder on the actor?

‘In one way, yes,’ says Devereux ‘Wayne is the bridge between the audience and the story, but in another way, its completely liberating, to have writing like that and to be able to jut let it take you where the author wants you to go.’

‘Ask me after opening night.’ interjects Wayne.

Bewleys Café Theatre, – Tues 18th to Fri 21st @8pm

Mill Theatre Dundrum, (Maureen O’Hara Studio) – Sat 22nd and Sunday 23rd – @8pm, tickets €10

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