World War 1 – The War of Words – Dublin Castle – Review


What do you do during your average day off? Watch some TV or get the washing done? If you’re Mouth on Fire, you put on a play! Mouth on Fire are currently performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Dublin Castle. Last Monday night they performed ‘World War 1 – The War of Words’ – a new play be Cathal Quinn which takes us from the events leading up to the first world war, until the final bomb has fallen, and all in under an hour.

We get to meet the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and see how the plot on his life took place. The assassination was a botched job, with 7 would be assassins waiting along the route which was published in the paper the day before. The first attempt was a grenade attack which missed its intended target and damaged the car travelling after them, hurting some of the occupants. When the Archduke and his wife later travelled to the hospital to see those that were injured, one of the assassins took the opportunity to shoot the couple.

At the centre of the piece is a game of chess between King George V and Kaiser Wilhelm II, who were first cousins. The movements start off slow, with the pawns and other minor pieces, and later the larger pieces start to fall as the actors tell of the various assaults and battles with widespread destruction.

There are four actors in this piece, who take on a variety of parts, changing quickly between members of the public, press, soldiers and Kings. The company make great use of the space. The chapel in Dublin Castle is an impressive building with balconies on either side. The actors move down the nave of the chapel, appear on the balconies and fall dead on the steps of the altar. In truth it is not possible to tell such a big story in the time frame allowed, and this is something of a whistle stop tour, jumping from one major event to the next. The piece serves as a reminder of the major dramas that took place just over a 100 years ago, and shows the futility of war while commemorating the many thousands that died.

Mouth on Fire hope this play to return later in the year.

Mouth on Fire present – WORLD WAR I – THE WAR OF WORDS
A New Play by Cathal Quinn

Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle


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