The Wake, a play by Tom Murphy showing in the Abbey in Dublin, got a lot of praise.
Me, I don't understand why:
- it was the usual story that comes up again and again in Irish theatre, writings and movies - Irish families and all their tensions, emigrants coming back, a will that sends all the characters on a collision course, alcohol abuse, child abuse in religious institutions, a family secret, ...
- it didn't know if it was a tragedy or a comedy - and I think the actors didn't know either. Maybe the idea was that, like real life, there can be funny moments in the middle of a lot of sadness. But to me, it looked like the main character, Vera, was schizophrenic. Maybe she was?
- the bit of nudity that was on display was not necessary - I'm not a prude, but I really don't think it added anything.
- the acting was just too much - Fair City school of over-acting is what I call it - the posh brother in law, the main person, Vera, vulnerable and bolshy at the same time, the scheming sister, the meek sister, the drunk ex-boyfriend, ... To me, none of them came across as real people, just archetypes.
- the actors were shouting - and yet I couldn't hear them properly (and I am not deaf)
- and it was way too long - 3 hours? Please
All that to explain why I left at the interval. Life is too short. Thankfully, my better half's verdict was the same!
Maybe the second act was much better. Sadly, I will never know!
If you want to find out for yourself, I think The Wake will be at the Abbey until the end of the month. I saw it in early July, but didn't want to spoil anybody's appreciation of it with my opinions!