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Mojo Mickybo – Civic Theatre – Review

Mojo Mickybo

Mojo Mickybo  – Review by Conor MacNamara

Civic Theatre – Wed 15th – Sat 18th April // 8.15pm

Mojo: Paul Cullen
Mickybo: Brian O’Rourke
Director: Carol Ryan

Award winning writer Owen McCaffery returns to the stage with full grandeur in Mojo Mickybo, a play which debuted in 1998 and has gone on to spawn a film, book and upcoming musical. This track record coupled with the minimal staging of the piece, two actors and wooden façade spattered with ‘Brits Out!’ is a testament to the level of the production; a genuine concoction of what happens when exemplary writing meets exuberant acting.

Mojo and Mickybo, one from ‘up the road’, the other from ‘over the bridge’ form our duo protagonists, and lead the audience through their idyllic childhoods, a pastel view of Belfast at the height of the Troubles. One of childhood innocence and stark realities. A panorama of melting tarmac, stolen bicycles and spitting bullets.

The actors must create the setting and characters themselves, sometimes playing multiple roles at a time, with a comedic zeal that enthralls the audience as they leap and dance from narration to caricature all in the same breath.

McCafferty skilfully wields the games of Mojo and Mickybo imitating Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to juxtapose the all too real ‘cowboys’ waging war behind the scenes. The obliviousness and innocence of the two boys is subtly interwoven with allusions and subtext of the violence circling them, until it inevitably consumes their friendship.

Overall, the production projects the terror of sectarianism through the lens of childhood nostalgia, innocence and witty adventure. Or to put it in their words; “Batman would be no use in Belfast”.

Civic Theatre – Wed 15th – Sat 18th April // 8.15pm

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Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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