Being Norwegian – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Review

being norwegian

Being Norwegian written by David Greig – Review by Frank L

May 05 – 30, 2015
Time: 1pm (doors at 12.50pm) – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre @ Powercourt
Starring Karl Shiels and Gemma Doorly

Set in some Scottish urban environment, the play begins with Sean (Karl Sheils) opening the door into his high rise apartment to Lisa (Gemma Doorly) whom he has met in the pub and rather than go to a club they have come back to his place. His place is a tip and that puts him on the defensive. Lisa is Norwegian and is not slow in coming forward. They are two very different types emotionally and their nationalities are different-he is a Scot brought up in the vicinity in which he now lives; she is Norwegian who speaks excellent English with a fine Scottish lilt. She is a good observer of the adopted world in which she now lives. Their encounter late at night for a multitude of reasons inevitably creates tensions and misunderstandings.

David Greig has written a fine text in this well-crafted two hander. His ability on several occasions to make the words “Norway” or “Norwegian” moments of high comedy takes some skill. He is ably assisted by a confident performance of comic bumbling by Karl Sheils who creates a great empathy for the hapless Sean. Equally well cast is Gemma Doorly whose Norwegian passionate hormones bubble almost to the surface but she just about keeps them under control. Both actors’ Scottish accents are spot-on and there is never any doubt that the play is rooted in Scotland even if it describes events which are universal.

From the beginning as Sean fumbles around trying to tidy up dirty clothes which are strewn around the unkempt apartment the audience is treated to a series of comic delights as Sean and Lisa both make discoveries about the other. Karl Sheils and Gemma Doorly combine together to make a piquant taste of pure comedy. It is a privilege to be a fly on the wall in the high rise apartment as Sean and Lisa uncertainly get to know each other a little bit better.

David Greig / WRITER
Clodagh Mooney Duggan / DIRECTOR
Ashleigh Dorrell / COSTUME DESIGN


Bewleys Being Norwegian


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