Monday, 22 February 2010


15/2/10, Tricycle

2 hrs 45 mins. Frank McGuinness wrote it, Nicholas Kent directed, Caroline Lagerfeld starred as (a reasonably convincing) Greta Garbo.

Did what it said on the tin. It's 1967, the Troubles are about to start across the border in Derry, and a bickering family, the Hennessy's, are now reduced to domestic servants for the gay knighted English painter who bought the family home when they were on their uppers. Mum is a blousy, flighty piece endlessly rowing with her drunken husband, now the chauffeur; their teenage daughter (very bright, no friends at school) wants to go to Dublin to study medicine; the rock of the household is Auntie Paulie.

The artist knows Garbo and as invited her in the hopes of selling her the house. She observes tje bickering with wry self-referential amusement. She doesn't buy the house. Leaves. Auntie P is a repressed lesbian who falls for Garbo, and Garbo for her, but nothing comes of it for neither is prepared to lose control.

Much of the play is indeed about control and what happens when you lose it (as the Hennessy's have their house).

Clever set, doubling up as the garden and the kitchen, with a front door back centre.

The first act very funny, the second act too shouty (some key lines got lost). Generally too long.

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