To write a New Age English allegorical drama so radical as Jerusalem – as Jez Butterworth has done – with a degenerate drug dealer as hero and with all its attendant violence and foul language, and almost instantly enjoy huge success with it in New York and London, and have it acclaimed as a modern classic, is quite an achievement. Yet it was more than much of our audience last evening could stomach and many left, while a section of those who remained expressed grave reservations,though admiring the cast for its consummate performance.
Every one to his or her own taste. I, for example will not attend tonight’s Palace Players performance of Night, Mother because I could not cope with the subject matter (the calm, planned suicide of a daughter before her mother). Yet this play won a Pulitzer Prize.
I thought Silken Thomas’ Jerusalem was magnificent: a triumph in every field of dramatic endeavour. Too good – I suspect – for Newpoint’s sake, who may have to settle for runners-up spot, or less. I have about 14 hours to be proved wrong.
The Kildare team will most assuredly win Most Ambitious Choice and, I suspect, best set. They may take far more accolades than that!
It has been a good festival all round with packed houses and full attendance at the Fringe Events too. With the single reservation of such an inappropriate and dreadfully morbid choice of play for Final Night, I warmly commend the Newry Drama Festival Committee for their efforts on the occasion of their Diamond Jubilee.
… end …