Review by Charlotte McCarthy
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Aoife-Spillan-Hinks
Presented by Orion Productions
Starring: Andrew Lynch, Sinead O'Riordan, Peter Gaynor, Laoisa Sexton, Rex Ryan
Being staged in Europe for the first time, the provocatively titled The Motherfucker with The Hat, is currently running in The New Theatre. The original Broadway run of the play starred Chris Rock, in his Broadway debut, and was nominated for multiple high profile theatre awards including Best Play at the 2011 Tonys.
Set in New York City, it follows the fortunes of a young man, Jackie, as he tries to get his life together, and maintain his sobriety, following his release from a two year stretch in prison. However when he discovers a man's hat in his cocaine addicted girlfriend, Veronica's, apartment, any progress he has made seems under threat. Trying to help him through his latest crisis are his AA sponsor Ralph, his cousin Julio and Ralph's wife Victoria, but there's only so much they can do, especially when they're all dealing with issues of their own.
Despite the story taking place in New York, the theme of addiction that runs throughout the play is universal and therefore there is plenty for an Irish audience to relate to. When the characters talk about taking their first drink, as teenagers hanging out on a street corner, they could be recounting the experiences of many in Ireland. Even though the play deals with such a serious theme, it is also surprisingly funny and will have you laughing, while also giving you something to think about.
The performances in this production were particularly strong and were the highlight of the play. Andrew Lynch (Jackie) did an excellent job of portraying the struggle of a long term addict wanting to get clean, but unable to adjust to the realities of sober living, and he and Sinead O'Riordan (Veronica) captured the pain of a couple who love each other, but are incapable of being together.
Don't let the name put you off, The Motherfucker With The Hat is well worth going to see and would make an excellent night out if you're not up for another round of 12 Pubs of Christmas.
The Motherfucker With A Hat runs until the 20th December, tickets available below.