Brendan Galileo For Europe – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Review
by Paddy McGovern
Jun 17 – Jul 06, 2019 | 1pm (doors at 12.50pm)
The revival of this play, Brendan Galileo for Europe, is a highly entertaining one-man show, featuring the tribulations of a would-be politician, running initially for election to the Galway West constituency. His motivation is nothing too lofty or aspirational: simply to put a halt to plans for a motorway and the related development that threaten his granny McGuckin’s school. As he aims for even higher office (see the title above) his ambition is thwarted by an ungrateful, short-sighted electorate.
Foley jabs and digs at a multitude of our national institutions along the way, the Galway race crowd, the infamous “Galway Race Tent” (now different, but just the same), grabby developers, self-important, local politicians, all smarm and insincerity, the Eurovision Song Contest. There is a lot of sharp observation, leavened by a raucous, anarchic sense of humour. Foley is an exceptionally versatile performer, spinning through a score of characters, young and old, male and female, in all shapes and sizes. Think Flann O’Brien’s The Poor Mouth, Boucicault’s The Shaughraun… fun with a sting in its tail. It is a full-on, bravura performance, matched by exceptionally fine sound and light work by Sinead Purcell and some fine imaginative touches from director, Jeda de Bri.
If there is a reservation, it concerns the breakneck, full-on delivery, both vocally and physically. The play seems a little repetitive towards the end, simply because the same techniques and characters are overused. If the play were shortened by ten or fifteen minutes, it would be perfect. As it is, it is a most enjoyable hour’s theatre, and a memorable performance from the writer/performer.
It continues at Bewleys at 1 pm daily
Written by and Starring Fionn Foley
Directed by Jeda de Bri