J.P. Donleavy's knack of writing in English, Irish and American idioms with equal fluency is employed with fine results in this 1961 quartet of snapshots of returning expatriate Cornelius Christian. Cornelius's acquired English drawl is set against the hustle of Noo Yawkese and the inevitable Irish-American scallywag's brogue, as his fortunes rise and fall almost with the barometer. The sketches are deftly fashioned, retaining their warmth and humour after three decades, and the company revel in the breadth of their numerous characters.
Patrick Ryecart gives an understated screen performance which makes Cornelius seem even odder in those surroundings than the script suggests, and the women's parts need considerable development before they become even token: but if it's unpretentious diversion you're after, this will do nicely, sir.
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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