Snake Eaters – New Theatre – Review
Written by Stewart Roche
Nov 30th – Dec 19th
Opens Dec 2. Previews Nov 30 & Dec 1. @ 7.30pm
Tickets: €16 (€12.50 conc.)
Hillis is still a young man, despite having seen a lot of pain and suffering. He has just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan and is now trying to adjust to normal life working at a petrol station. He somehow managed to survive his tour of duty and now has to live with the guilt. He is living with his Dad in Nebraska and is struggling to face into domestic life. He meets Ashley, a young feisty woman with a lot going for her, but this new romance is not without difficulties as Ashley has problems of her own!
This is a new play written by Stewart Roche, who has previously written Revenant and Tracer which were performed at the New Theatre. The subject matter is something of a departure for him, and this is his first piece of commissioned work. This play initially focuses on the issues that a veteran faces into before broadening its scope into the murky world of drugs and violence with an explosive ending. It’s unusual to see something of this scale on stage in Dublin, where most deal with more mundane matters. It is closer to an American Indie film. The influences on the writing are definitely more Tarantino than Friel!
The cast are all impressive and give great life to the characters. Pat O’Donnell is a regular on the New Theatre stage and is always entertaining. The character of Hillis is quite complex and he has to delve into the madness of the character with some scenes of explosive anger. Lesley Conroy plays Ashley, a woman that has made some wrong choices in life and is struggling to break free of her past. It is a well written part and Lesley seems to enjoy the role.
The set consists largely of a couple of chairs and a table to form a kitchen. Due to the large amount of locations required for this play, a bit of imagination is required, but the acting makes up for the limited scope of the production. There are many great moments and ideas in this script and despite the subject matter, some very funny scenes. The characters are very well developed and the cast really throw themselves into their parts. The play is at its best when dealing with the emotional issues and complexity of the life of a veteran. It’s not without its flaws but it’s an impressive piece of new writing, well realised by the cast and crew.
Directed by Caroline Fitzgerald
Produced by Anthony Fox
Patrick O’Donnell – HILLIS (Jameson Dublin Film Festival Best Actor 2010)
Pat Nolan – DON (Fair City, Golden Rose Award 2005)
Lesley Conroy – ASHLEY (Mattie, Life’s a Breeze, IFTA nominee 2009)
John Morton – AUSTEN (Tobias and the Tree)
Niall Bruton – GLOCK (Outcast)
Cillian Roche – KRUGER / JOEY (Anton)
Writer: Stewart Roche
Director: Caroline FitzGerald
Producer: Anthony Fox
Stage Manager: Céin Sookram
Lighting Design: Cathy O’Carroll
Set Design: Martin Cahill
Sound Design: David Gillespie
Costume Design: Liz Tierney
Poster Design: Leanne Willars
PR Management: Insight Consultants
Social Media Strategist: John O’Brien