Yesterday, with fellow members of the English Department, I accompanied our senior English students to see the Abbey production of the Plough and the Stars by Séan O’ Casey at Cork Opera House. Director (Olivier Award Winner) Sean Holmes breathed new life into a play that can often come across as somewhat turgid and dated. From the moment the play opened it was obvious that this production was going to be lively and engaging. The very imaginative set featured scaffolding for the tenements and worked really well. For me, Ciarán O Brien stole the show as the Young Covey. The whole cast were superb, though I was disappointed with the wooden portrayal of Nima Taleghani as Corporal Stoddart.
Our school was in the stalls and we had, at times, difficulty in hearing the words of Mrs Gogan in particular, and Rosie Redmond. Apart from these small gripes, I would recommend this production highly. Students from schools all over the county packed the Opera House and were riveted by the performance which lasted two and half hours (including 20 minute interval) which was a great compliment to the cast and director. A superb production, energetic, imaginative and engaging. If you get half a chance, do go see it.