Opened 8 June 2005
Written: by Dion Boucicault , original music by David Downes
Directed: John McColgan
Cast: Don Wycherley (Shaughraun)
Synopsis: A melodramatic play , The Shaughraun, is a combination of a rollicking farce, a fish-out-of-water comedy and a gentle morality play. The dastardly Corey Kinchela, the forces of the crown and a liberal dose of nineteenth century Fenian politics contrive to keep the various lovers apart. But in the end love will triumph with more than a little help from Conn the Shaughraun and his faithful dog Tatters.
What the critics had to say.....
NICK CURTIS for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Utterly over the top from beginning to end, The Shaughraun is almost beyond criticism. You either go along with its knowing vulgarity or you don't. Or, like me, you laugh at the cheap gags, the overblown set pieces and the arch performances but find it all a bit wearying and worrying by the end." KATE Bassett for THE INDEPENDENT says, "This is shamelessly cheesy and it knows it - and that's the joke....very much in a crowd-pleasing holiday humour, this is really a summer panto or an 1870s melodrama with its tongue so far in its cheek that it feels post-modern." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "It is disappointing to see a great Irish classic lightly guyed.... it says everything about this production that Anita Reeves plays Conn's mother as a pudding-hatted joke-figure straight out of Jack and the Beanstalk. This production may have delighted Dublin, but it would have done a service to Irish theatre if it had stayed there." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "What a disappointment it proves.....it's a show that is so desperate to be cute, colourful and charming that all the authentic life has been sucked out of it.....This is folk Oirishry at is worst, with picturesque peasants in bright, beautifully laundered costumes breaking into a jig at the drop of a hat, scenery that looks as though it has been imported from Disneyland, and a portentous voiceover urging us to hiss and boo the villain."