THE WAKE
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 1990

Paul O'Hanrahan has written and staged several James Joyce adaptations, but this version of Finnegans Wake is his most accomplished to date. He has constructed a two-handed show around the numerous warring pairs who appear in Joyce's "wholesale safety pun factory", and distilled the whole into 20 or so brief scenes. O'Hanrahan is a capering, impish incarnation of the rogues of the piece, and Donal O'Kelly (also in Bat The Father, Rabbit The Son at the Assembly Rooms) complements him both physically and dramatically as a more stolid antagonist. A minimal set and sensitive music (by John Dunne) create a production that is hip, clever and entertaining.

Written for The Independent.

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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