To those of us who are retentive enough to remember the Irish Players in Juno and the Paycock five years ago, the performance staged last evening at the Martin Beck by the Abbey Theatre troupe1 is, as Captain Jack would say, ‘a bit of a disappointment.’ Arthur Sinclair, Maire O’Neill, Sara Allgood and the late Sydney Morgan left the standards for O’Casey plays unreasonably high. Sufficient as the present company is, it lacks the gusty comedy of its predecessors, and it has less iron for the bitter tragedy at the end. If you cherish the memory of glorious occasions you miss the music of speech that turned Juno and the Paycock into a rowdy poem and the anguished cry of a stricken country when it was done here before. Although the horseplay in the current revival is funny enough to keep you rocking in your seat it is, alas, no match for the broadly-sustained exuberance that competed with the elevated railway clatter in what used to be the Gallo Theatre.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.