George V. Reilly

Review: The Seafarer

The Seafarer
Title: The Seafarer
Author: Conor McPherson
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

We saw The Seafarer at the Seattle Rep this afternoon. Two brothers, Richard and Sharkey, share a house in north Dublin. There’s little love lost between them. Richard, recently blinded, is con­trol­ling and wheedling. Sharkey is trying to stay off the gargle and it’s not easy when Richard and his crony Ivan drink like fishes.

Sharkey’s old rival, Nicky, arrives on Christmas Eve, bringing a stranger with him, Mr. Lockhart. They settle down to a game of poker and Sharkey privately learns that he’s met the stranger once before. For Mr. Lockhart is the devil and he wants to collect the old debt that Sharkey owes him and take Sharkey’s soul.

The brothers fight and fight. Like all squabbling siblings, they know how to get under each other’s skin. Ivan and the brothers are wasters, whose lives have been distorted by drink, and Nicky is little better.

The play is grim in places, but it’s also very funny, rich with humor between the characters and sometimes at their expense.

The cast do a creditable job of Irish accents, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Harkin brothers. There’s a large, apparent difference in ages between the two actors, making them somewhat improbable as brothers.

Runs until March 28th.

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