Smock! – Smock Alley Theatre – Review

Smock! Smock Alley

Smock! is a play based around the space in which it is performed. The play tells the history of Smock alley, and brings you through the various incarnations of the oldest stage in Ireland. The theatre was opened by James Ogilby in 1662. He returned to Dublin from London, and with the permission of King Charles II raised the money required to set up the first theatre. It brings you through the early days, the plays that were performed in the space, and most importantly the actors, writers and directors who worked there. A number of those that performed were quite famous, with Peg Woffington and Thomas Sheridan (father of Richard Brinsley Sheridan) featuring heavily.

The theatre had a number of disasters, with the stage collapsing on various occasions possibly due to subsidence of the foundations. The space was rebuilt each time, but subsequently closed and became a school and church. It is a building ripe with history, and Maguire does a fine job of piecing together the various strands to form a brief and funny history of the building.

This is a play for three actors, with each performer taking on a large number of parts in this free wheeling piece of theatre. Sometimes the actors perform moments of history and at other times they talk directly to the audience to move the plot along. The three young actors do a fine job of delivering this mad cap story, and the pace is relentless telling 350 years of history in under an hour. Some eras are dealt with in detail, while others flash past in the blink of an eye. It is a fun and light hearted piece and that leaves you with a smile on your face.

Duration: 50 minutes.

Written and Direction by Martin Maguire

Cast – Thomas Beatty, Gina Burke, Shane O’Reagan

14th – 20th July @ 7:30pm in Main Space

Tickets €15/12 conc



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