44 Seville Place

44 picDec 8 – 20

 

Written and performed  by Peter Sheridan
Directed by Maggie Byrne.
Peter Sheridan grew up in a family of seven, not far from the River Liffey on Dublin’s north docks. 44 Seville Place is his account of that fabulous and heart-breaking childhood.‘It celebrates the idea of the family in all its chaotic wonder.’  Sunday Independent


Tickets: €12
Bookings: 087-1129970

As the 1960s begin, so does this wonderful, funny, warm and poignant portrait of a Dublin working-class family. The story draws us into their lives and relationships in an unforgettable way. Through the journey of young Peter, it shows us an individual and a society on the cusp of profound change.

‘I loved going on messages up town. I loved discovering places and finding short cuts. I loved the oul wans and the oul fellas. I loved the statues and the buildings and the shops. I loved Dublin. I loved everything about Dublin. I wouldn’t let anyone say a bad word about Dublin, especially country people. If Dublin was a woman, I’d marry her…….’

 Peter Sheridan grew up in a family of seven, not far from the River Liffey on Dublin’s north docks.

44 Seville Place is his account of that fabulous and heart-breaking childhood.

On its publication, 44 became an instant classic. It featured on RTE’s Book of the Week and was nominated for an Irish Times Literary Award.

‘You will rejoice in this wild song of a book…….’ Frank McCourt

“Sheridan excels in his depiction of character, bringing a range of people to vivid life, from his generous patriotic Ma and his stubborn and philosophical Da;……..Daily Telegraph

‘Marvellously funny and loving stuff.’  Time Out

Dublin has rarely come to life as it does in Peter Sheridan’s memoir…….his prose is as rich as his characters, ordinary and fabulous, tragic and hilarious.’  Neil Jordan

‘It celebrates the idea of the family in all its chaotic wonder.’  Sunday Independent

Red Curtain Review………..

There is really only one word to sum up Peter Sheridan’s new work: brillant. But its not really enough. Pure joy comes to mind as well in his recounting of life at number 44 Seville Place in the heart of Dublin, where he lived with his brothers, sister, Ma, Da and a collection of lodgers. It is funny and sad, thoughtful and hilarious, and at parts social commentary, but its heart and soul is that of family, friendship and the highs and lows of growing up. In Sheridan’s case that was during the 1960s.

Here we have tales involving Sean Penn and Brendan Behan, as a way into the evening, this is told by the grownup Sheridan, which then gives way to the large box being delivered to the house and everyone wanting to know what’s inside, but having to wait until Da gets home from work. When he does, he tells them it is the future. It is a good start, and while it is looking back to a time that is past, it isn’t a trip to outline how bad things are now, or how great they were then, it is simply honest storytelling.
It is finely written, paced perfectly coupled with Sheridan’s ability to deliver it with ease, confidence, as if he is having a casual chat with you and telling you the stories as they arrive in his mind. This is a reason people were hanging on his every word. You know it is well scripted, full of emotion and comedy involving himself, his family, his friend Andy, school, the priests, Sherrifer, Waltons Music Store, Mattie’s, all conjured up skillfully and beautifully by Sheridan, who really is a great raconteur, making it all look easy.
While it is based on his memoir of the same name, this is still theatre something which he never forgets. A simple set consists of three wall hangings: one of a door, in front of which is a wooden chair, the other two a picture of Sheridan’s Ma and Da, with another of the whole family. There are no gimmicks here, there is no need for them. The direction is subtle and simple from Maggie Byrne, making use of the whole space, while Andrew Murray’s lighting design works so well with the script and the tales being told.
With words and voices Sheridan builds up the Dublin of his past, creating it with warmth and reality. In some ways it is a love poem to Dublin, but it isn’t a trip down memory lane for the sake of nostalgia either. It is told with directness and sheer honesty, never going for sentimentality, or to big it up either. It is what it is. It also hits on the more social aspects of Dublin and Ireland at the time: his parents having to get the money for secondary school as free education wasn’t in yet, the priest coming in to test them on their catechism questions and the brutality of the teachers when one unfortunate gets them wrong, the industrial schools get a mention, as does the reaction when the film Helga went on release. And you don’t have to have been there to enjoy it all.
It could have gone on for another hour and no one would have complained, especially me. We even get a couple of songs as we move through the decade until the New Year arrives, getting ready to enter the 1970s. It all ties in beautifully and it really is one not to be missed. A wonderful one man show that will put a smile on your face. You might leave humming a few tunes as well.

 

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