Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Friday, April 15, 2016

Spirit of Spike at Theatre Royal

I caught one of the early nights of a touring production from Big Telly Theatre Company in Waterford last night. A six piece all-male ensemble from the Northern Ireland company presented a highly entertaining,  energetic adaptation of Spike Milligan's comic novel, Puckoon. A zany cocktail  blending Spike Milligan's  goonish humour  with elements of  Flann O Brien and Dave Allen sketches. The actors proved a versatile bunch adding colourful musical accompaniment on a variety of instruments including drums, whistle, ukulele, concertina and harmonica supplementing  Paul Boyd's lynchpin piano/ stroke narrator. There were some lovely theatrical touches. I loved the paper maché boy scout troop. You can read more  about it here.

I had a chat with the performers in Jordan's Bar after the show. Two of the cast have been with the production since it's first outing in 2009. I asked MD , Paul Boyd if the show had changed very much over three iterations. Yes he said, they had adapted it somewhat depending on the audience response and the strengths of the players involved in each of the three productions but in essence it remains the show that proved it's popular appeal with a successful run at the Leicester Square theatre in London's West End.
Paddy Jenkins  recalled  his many trips to the Theatre Royal to perform at Waterford International Light Opera Festival. (What a shame amid the plethora of Waterford festivals, this event lost it's toehold.)

I thought Puckoon was terrific! If you missed it, you can catch it at about half a dozen more venues including a four night run at The Everyman, Cork at the end of May.

Cast  Paul Boyd writer / piano
         Paddy Jenkins Dan Milligan
         John O Mahoney
         Patrick O Reilly
         Keith Singleton
         Giles Stoakley
Director Zoe Seaton

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