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'Rollicking humour, pathos, a love story, music...' Loft takes on a classic

The Playboy of the Western World, Loft Theatre, Leamington, Feb 27-March 9.

It's described as a savagely funny play that sent shock waves across the world of Irish drama back in 1907...but make no mistake, it still packs a powerful punch today.

You've heard all those jokes....a man walks into a bar and says....only in this story a man walks into a bar and says he's just killed his father!

Instead of calling for the hangman the locals are full of praise for lonely chancer Christy Mahon (played by Sam Wall) who goes on to become something of a town hero. The men toast him and the women all fancy him.

You can see this topsy-turvey world for yourself at The Loft theatre in Leamington between February 27th and March 9th where they many of the cast members still remember staging it 20 years ago. In fact some of them are back in it! In this case instead of playing Christy, Loft member Tom O'Connor has grown into the role of his bullying father, Old Mahon.

This new production of The Playboy of the Western World is directed by Gus MacDonald - who was also among that original Loft cast, and still describes it as: "One of the best theatrical experiences I've had."

Gus adds: "Given the opportunity to direct this latest production, I jumped at the chance. The play has almost everything: rollicking humour bordering on the farcical, pathos, a love story, music, and is rightly regarded as one of the real classics of Irish theatre."

There's even a personal connection. The Loft's head of finance, James Synge, is actually a distant relation of the playwright J.M. Synge.

James believes the play has stood the test of time and guarantees audiences an evening full of life, laughter and music where, as the Irish say, the Craic is mighty.

Picture: Tom O'Connor as Old Mahon (back) Sam Wall as Christy (front), Mary MacDonald as Widow Quinn (back) and Siobhan Twomey as Pegeen Mike (front).