Liam Hallahan Buries His Dad Live On Stage – Smock Alley – Review


Liam Hallahan Buries His Dad Live On Stage by Some Yank’s Theatre Company

March 9th-14th at 8pm in The Boy’s School

Charles Hallahan was a man that died hundreds of times. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat by Robert De Niro. He was shot by Clint Eastwood and burned to death by Kurt Russell with a flame thrower. Charles Hallahan was an actor who played a variety of small parts in Hollywood movies, where his speciality was ‘crying and dying’ as he said himself. His first love was theatre though and he used his movie work to pay the bills. This new play is the story of his son Liam, who only has a few memories of his Dad, as he died when he was six years old. He remembers his father as a huge man who smoked cigars and drank many cans of Coke. This is a biographical tale his father’s life and also his relationship with his father.

As you enter the theatre, two of the three cast members are already on stage with their back to the audience. They are watching a show reel of Charles Hallahan’s many death scenes on loop. They are soon joined on stage by the third member, Liam Hallahan himself. All three act out pivotal moments in Charles’ life, including how he got his first acting role and his auditions for various parts. There are also a number of video interludes, including speeches about Charles taken from his memorial service after his death. The play also deals with his love for Ireland, and his various trips to the country where his great grandparents lived before their departure to America.

An earlier version of this play was part of the Collaborations festival last year, where it was just over thirty minutes long. This new incarnation has increased in length substantially at seventy minutes. Hallahan has added more depth to the topic of his relationship with his father and the influence he had on his own life in theatre. Despite the subject matter, it is a surprisingly up beat affair. This is a fresh and interesting piece of theatre, that bounds along at an impressive pace and is commendable for its humour and lack of sentimentality when dealing with the difficult topic of loss.

Liam Hallahan Buries His Dad Live On Stage by Some Yank’s Theatre Company runs and the Boy’s School at Smock Alley until March 14th.

Writer: Liam Hallahan.

Director: Amy Fox.

Dramaturg: Cathal McGuire.

SFX/Visual design: David Doyle.
Cast: Liam Hallahan, Síofra O’Meara, Shane Robinson.


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