Emergency – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Review

Emergency – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Review
by Frank L.

EMERGENCY : A charming historic tour through Bewley’s Cafe – Written and performed by Sam Ford

“A charming historic tour through Bewley’s Café!
Followed by Bewley’s stunning luxury cakes & a selection of our finest teas and coffees.
EMERGENCY is a behind-the-scenes jaunt through the nooks, crannies and secrets of Dublin’s most famous Café!”

Dates, times & tickets:
Monday – Wednesday at 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

On February 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th and March 1st, 6th,7th 8th, 2023.

Ford has created a fictional head waiter for Bewley’s Cafe, namely one Josef Kellner who fled Austria in 1938 following the Anschluss in order to seek refuge in Ireland. He has found work and prospered in Bewley’s. He fled with a colleague Balasz, who has not integrated so well as he wants to be actively involved in the war. Although employed by Bewleys he is constantly skiving. He is a major problem for Josef.

Against the backdrop of the Second World War or the Emergency, Kellner talks about his flight from Austria, his arrival in Dublin and his discovery of Bewleys. He is in love with the place and he brings his audience through various staircases and passageways to unlikely nooks and crannies in the building. All the time he is telling snippets about the building itself, the Bewley family, the Thonet chairs, how to train staff properly and much else besides.

Josef speaks with a broken English accent and he knows a great deal about cafes and how to run them. He relates Bewleys to Viennese cafes and specifically mentions Cafe Sperl in Gumpendorfer Strasse. His passion for Bewleys is obvious, both inside and out.

Ford’s creation of Josef Kellner is an ingenuous way to advocate the glories of an institution that has graced Grafton Street for almost a 100 years. It is part of the fabric of Dublin and it has as one of its antecedents the cafes of Vienna. Josef shows it as a part of a great European tradition.

The performance lasts for forty-five minutes and for an extra fee members of the audience can sit down at a dedicated table surrounded by the Harry Clarke windows and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a delicious piece of cake. This is a delightful nugget of cafe theatre which increases the awareness of the uniqueness of Bewleys. It is to be savoured.

EMERGENCY : A charming historic tour through Bewley’s Cafe

Written and performed by Sam Ford
Directed by John King

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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