A Little Cloud – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Review
by Frank L
(A short story from James Joyce’s Dubliners adapted by Patricia Browne)
As part of the Bloomsday Festival and celebrating the Centenary of Ulysses publication!
Browne has set the play in contemporary Dublin. Tommy “Little” Chandler (Stephen Kelly) remains a fairly lowly office worker near the King’s Inns and Ignatius Gallaher (Vincent Patrick) is an old school pal who has returned for a brief visit from the States (not London) where he has been a success. In their meeting over a drink in the Horseshoe Bar in the Shelbourne (a new location) the differences in their respective lives are tracked. As a result of the conversation, Little Chandler’s ambitions are reignited but like in the short story, he returns to reality when he goes home to his wife Annie (Geraldine Crowley) and their baby.
The set consists of a right-angled counter which is used to create an office, a bar and shelves in a home. In addition, two scenes take place using the entire auditorium. So the full potential of the intimate theatre is employed. There are two additional parts of office secretary and barman so there is a total cast of five.
Browne has added various contemporary situations to the story. For purists of Joyce, they may well jar but the essential essence of Joyce’s story remains which is the frustrated ambition of Little Chandler which arises from his own indecisiveness. However, this short play with its five actors and some contemporary themes tends to diminish the intensity of that frustrated ambition.
Directed by Vincent Patrick
Starring Stephen Kelly, Vincent Patrick, Geraldine Crowley, Dympna Heffernan.