|Daniel Reardon and Conor Madden (Ros Kavanagh)|
How It’s New York: When I saw The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane in Ireland, I’d had no time to eat. Closest food: McDonald’s on Grafton Street. When I saw this in NYC, I’d had no time to eat. Closest food: Colombian food truck with fresh arepas around the corner. Says it all.
How It’s Irish: Pan Pan Theatre is one of Dublin’s acclaimed innovative theatre companies; “experimental,” for lack of a better word. This production won several awards in The Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival in 2010 (see our feature on the show here, and listen to my interview with director Gavin Quinn on last week’s podcast).
In NYC for four short days last weekend, it was a must-see event. The night I went, I bumped into the New York Times’ Scott Heller and the Village Voice’s Alexis Soloski. RTÉ radio were there, interviewing critics about the impact Imagine Ireland has had. I spoke for a few minutes, articulately I hope– so much to say! During the part where people vote for their favorite Hamlet, I saw Irish Arts Center’s (and NYIA’s) Rachael Gilkey stand by Bush, while Imagine Ireland/Irish Arts Center publicist Nik Quaife stood by Conor.
This review was originally published in Theatermania.
|Conor Madden in The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane
(© Ros Kavanagh)
Pan Pan Theatre’s award-winning play, The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane, now in a brief run at NYU’s Skirball Center, should not be missed by anyone interested in Hamlet. It’s a fascinating, sometimes thrilling, and occasionally slow-going work — not only full of poetry, but also one that explores the use of theater to get at the truth, most notably in the play within Hamlet called The Murder of Gonzago.
The auditions establish themselves as a comedy of the absurd when first auditioner, Derrick Devine, says he forgot to take off his top. Conor Madden (voted in as Hamlet on the 10th) is hugely physical, except that he “holds back” due to an injury incurred in swordfighting (which apparently is true). His miming of hurdling is hilarious. The modern piece he reads is from Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, and Beckettian images of stasis haunt the production.