47 Roses | Bewley's Cafe Theatre
Title: 47 Roses
Venue: Bewley's Cafe Theatre
Dates: Until July 12th (No shows 4th & 5th)
Written and performed by: Peter Sheridan
Directed by: Maggie Byrne
Nutshell: A son tries to discover the truth about the nature of his fathers relationship with a family friend after he passes away.
The Good: How delicately the writer balances the different elements key to the plot. The heart, the hurt and the intrigue.
The Bad: It's another monologue play.
You'll Like This If: You like your romances black, white and flourishing.
Avoid If: There's no real reason one shouldn't see this show other than any fatigue one might have with the monologue format.
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Caomhan Keane's full review:
There is a beautiful piece of theatre revived this week at the Bewley's Cafe Theatre rounding up a terrific seasons programming by Artistic Director David Horan.
Following the sudden death of his father in 1993, an old family friend turned up at the maternal home of director and playwright Peter Sheridan bearing 47 red and white roses, one for every year she knew the senior Peter. With a writer's nose for a story and actors gift of the gab, Peter the son set out to get to the heart of the matter. Unravelling the story first through his book and now through this one man show, 47 Roses is an emotional, if not sexual three way between his Ma, his Da and a lady called Doris. It's a tale of enchantment, an old school romance where the embers of desire were stirred by the flicking of a pen.
Dishing up healthy slices of Dublin in those rare old times, Sheridan strays from the central threesome on occasion to bring to life his youth in the North inner city, which serves to highlight the silent respect he has for his mother.
While his Da liked to think of himself as the Gary Cooper type, it was his Ma who was the family hero when their brother Franky died and his father took to the bed. These asides also add to the woman's stoicism when the extent of his fathers guile is realised.
It is a remarkably measured piece of writing, told with a mature dramatists restraint. While he shows endless affection for his father and a deep respect for Doris, his mother's hurt is allowed to slowly but not overwhelmingly taint their relationship.
Sheridan could easily have let his loyalties loose on the page. Instead he lets the facts speak for themselves. And in doing so gives us an unbiased snap of the constraints put on love by people, timing and fate.
It is warmly performed by the writer with a knowing yet judgement free glint in his eye. With the simplest of shifts to his tone, he moved from talking to us to talking to himself or to another character. The decision to restrict the physical transformations to the barest of movements was a wise one and while the occasional burst of song served a purpose, we could have done without.
It's not often they bring the good shows back. Go catch this while you can.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Monday 21st May 2012 | Theatre
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