Two Pints – Abbey Theatre (On Tour) – Review by Frank L.
Written by Roddy Doyle
Photo by Ros Kavanagh
Until August 5th
Last night in the Foxhound Inn in Kilbarrack “Two Pints” officially opened after previews in the Flowing Tide, Dublin and The Horse and Hound in Wicklow. It is an Abbey Theatre production and it is scheduled to play in another twenty pubs throughout Ireland in the coming weeks terminating its tour in Simpsons in Donegal. The National Theatre is being national which is much to be welcomed.
When the audience is assembling and taking its seats, which are clustered around the variety of tables that are to be found in any bar, there is a man slouched on a bar stool (Lorcan Cranitch). He is waiting for his friend to arrive (Liam Carney). When the audience is settled, he does and pulls up another stool at the bar. He is agitated as his father, in his nineties, is in hospital and on the way out. Because Carney is upset by his father’s state, he has just had an altercation with the hospital’s car park attendant. Carney was at fault but that does not stop him from being indignant at the way he was treated. Two pints are ordered and produced by the barman (Brendan Galvin) who then returns silently to his crossword at the back of the bar.
The two lads pursue their conversation which careers consequentially and inconsequentially all over the place. Among the topics that are given an airing are, needless to say, football but more revealingly their fathers and their relationships with them, their religious beliefs or lack of them, the Koran, the after-life and more surprisingly Nigella Lawson who is held by both in high regard. The chat veers into the unlikely when they have a knotty discussion as to whether women have tonsils but having rung one of the wives for assistance they discover that they do. They then realise it is Adam’s apples that women do not have. That leads to voices breaking and imagining what would happen if boys’ voices did not break and so the conversation careers along. The resulting juxtapositions of the sequiturs and non-sequiturs abound and make for many hilarious happenings as well as moments of genuine reflection and soul searching.
The script of Roddy Doyle is spot on as his two old pals set the world to rights. He captures with his faultless ear for dialogue the repartee, the misunderstandings, the musings and the need that two long standing drinking companions have for each other. Carney and Cranitch play their respective roles with knowing awareness and deliver Doyle’s text with performances which are on a par with the quality of the script. They are, as a trio, perfectly in sync.
The Foxhound Inn was an ideal venue and it is great that the Abbey is touring “Two Pints” to many other pubs throughout the island. If a performance is in the vicinity, make sure to drop in, enjoy the pint and savour the chat.
Cast – Liam Carney and Lorcan Cranitch
Written by Roddy Doyle
Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin
6-8 July – The Flowing Tide, 9 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1 (Previews)
10 July – The Horse and Hound, Delgany, Wicklow
11 July – The Foxhound Inn, Greendale Road, Kilbarrack, Dublin 5 (Premiere)
12 July – The Village Inn, Deansground, Kilkenny (National tour launch)
13 July – Downes, 10 Thomas Street, Waterford
14 July – Mannions Pub, Mount Elliot, New Ross, Wexford
17 July – Caseys, Monteensudder, Glengarriff, Cork
18 July – Dingle (Venue to be announced. Check abbeytheatre.ie for updates)
19 July – Dolans Warehouse, 4 Dock Road, Limerick
20 July – Clare (Venue to be announced. Check abbeytheatre.ie for updates)
21 July – Kennedys, Puckaun, Tipperary
24-29 July – Galway International Arts Festival (On sale 19 June at giaf.ie)
1 August – Mayo (Venue to be announced. Check abbeytheatre.ie for updates)
2 August – Tricky McGarrigals, 11/12 O’Connell Street, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo
3 August – Cryans Bar, On the Quay, Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim
4 August – Blakes The Hollow, 6 Church Street, Eniskillen, Fermanagh
5 August – Simpsons Bar and Restaurant, Tulnaree, Carndonagh, Inishowen, Donegal