Llareggub revisited?

Yesterday afternoon to the National, for Enda Walsh’s Misterman. All the critics seem to have liked it, and there are general ravings about Cillian Murphy. So here’s the synopsis:

Inishfree might seem like a quaint Irish town, but fierce evangelist Thomas Magill knows better. He knows jovial Dwain Flynn is a miserable drunk, that Timmy O’Leary enslaves his lovely mother and that sweet Mrs Cleary is a blasphemous flirt.

It is down to Thomas, with God on his shoulder, to save this sinful place. But the townsfolk are not listening, an angel is misbehaving and a barking dog will not be silenced. Just how far will Thomas go in his quest for salvation?

Haven’t we been here before? Though perhaps Dylan Thomas was reflecting in amusement, rather than looking back in anger. The props manager and ASMs must have had a hard time clearing up the enormous stage (it seems to go far enough back to intrude on the front entrance of Chez Gerard). That Cillian Murphy has one heck of a kick on him. There must be an endless supply of clapped-out tape recorders for him to destroy.

Put it like this: Malcolm was no great deal the wiser. Irish towns have nutty bible-bashers (that’s a feature common to both tribes). Despite their efforts and effusions, this perverse, untidy and unreformed world keeps on spinning.


The stroll along Bankside. A decent day. Tide low. Tourist season getting into full huddle. The clean-up in anticipation of the Jubilee nonsense seems to be rushing to an inevitable conclusion.

The Bridge House

As promised last week, Malcolm made it, albeit later than expected. There were, by the way, a couple of Nicholson’s houses that Malcolm missed in that last Riverside canter: the Horniman at Hays and the Doggetts Coat and Badge, which is slap-bang on Blackfriars Bridge. Both can get horrendously overcrowded; both have great Thames views; both (crowds excluded) do a decent job.

Once at the Bridge House (where crowds are rarely a problem), the Broadside was, as always, in good order. There were attentions and layings-on-of-hands from an over-friendly drunk, well dealt with by the duty manager — these things happen. Rest largely as expected. The decor has changed of late with a small collection of framed, but instantly-forgettable LP covers: about the only one Malcolm instantly recognised was the Rooftop Singers, but even that wasn’t the authentic Vanguard original.

Oh, well: why not take the opportunity —

Two twelve-strings (Erik Darling and Willard “Bill” Svanoe): that’s over-kill!


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Filed under Adnams, Beer, folk music, Ireland, London, pubs, Theatre

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