An Lár – Glass Mask Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Dove Curpen

Writer: Evanne Kilgallon

Director: Conor Hanratty

The multi-talented Evanne Kilgallon makes her writing debut as well as starring as Dorchas in the “musical play” An Lár. Along with Saorla Wright playing Solas, the two are phenomenal at bringing these otherworldly characters to life. Directed by Conor Hanratty and featuring music from David Keenan, An Lár is a most unique and original production. Set in the afterlife, Dorchas, a veteran deceased, meets Solas, a confused newbie in denial. The pair embark on a quest for a more hopeful outcome for themselves. This journey tests their courage and resilience as they encounter wildly imaginative creatures borrowed from Irish folklore.

The play fuses the “mother tongue” with English and remains inclusive. There is a glossary provided so no previous knowledge of Irish is necessary. The true meaning is continuously portrayed by this duo’s excellent delivery so nothing is ever lost. Intertwined within the bilingual dialogue are delightful musical pieces. Keenan lends his musical genius to propel this performance even further. The script and plot are already brilliant but the ballads are just the icing on the cake! Though the stage area is small, Cathyann Murphy does not fail in evoking the underworldly, ominous feeling with her expert set and costume design. Glass Mask Theatre prides itself in that “every seat is front row”; giving the actors the perfect intimate setting to draw the audience in.

Nestled in the Bestseller’s Café, audience members are invited for food and drink prior to the performance. A pleasing treat to all the senses, there is not a dull moment in An Lár. It is action packed, talent packed and humour packed! The play nods to topical issues in a witty and clever way but never overwhelms the mood. The show is exceptionally entertaining and unapologetic in its political stance.

With a running time of 85 minutes, you will wish it was longer. It is truly that enjoyable and different. Kilgallon’s first script is a triumph and not to be missed.

Runs until 17th December 2022

The Review's Hub Score

Wildly entertaining

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The Ireland team is currently under the editorship of Laura Marriott. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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