Drama, — October 1, 2009 13:29 — 0 Comments

‘The Field’ on stage

It was wonderful to witness a full house for Newpoint’s opening night production of John B Keane’s The Field. Only tonight and tomorrow night remain, so book your seats quickly if you don’t want to miss it.

It appeared to me that the audience loved Charlie Smyth’s interpretation of this classic and he was frequently cheered and applauded onto and off the stage for his cameo acting role.


It was Charlie’s first venture into production outside of pantomime (if it is that) – he is by far the longest serving Newpoint player – and he might be well-pleased with the opening audience’s reception. He certainly can fill a theatre.


Perhaps I’m too much of a purist but I disliked this production. I do not consider Keane’s work suitable for the pantomime treatment. I had lots of quibbles with the production, sound (except for Benny McKay’s bohran-playing, which delivered a much-needed foreboding atmosphere), with the mundane set and with the lighting. 


It was a collaborative production between Newpoint, Bosco and Smyth’s regular panto company and the forced marriage did not work. Children were paraded on and off the stage at the opening of several scenes to no apparent purpose or effect. Some of Newpoint’s best talent were asked to play cameo caricature roles whilst others were omitted completely. 


I have some concern with Newpoint’s current direction. Surely it is praiseworthy that a. so many people are being afforded a chance to take the stage – children, youth and seasoned players  and

b. that so many productions are being aired and

c. several talented members are being allowed to effect their own productions. 


But the group’s well-deserved national reputation as a team to be reckoned with on an All-Ireland basis was hard-earned with much weightier and more challenging productions and this reputation – and those most responsible for earning it – might easily be lost.


But, hey, don’t listen to me! 


Go along and love it like so many others did !


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