Cumann feel the noise: This week’s best theatre

The Roaring Banshees is a counter-factual history of feminist discontents with the Free State

Locked and loaded: The Roaring Banshees

Locked and loaded: The Roaring Banshees

 

The Roaring Banshees
Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin 7.30pm (Sat mat 2.30pm) smockalley.com

Seven women take refuge in a church following a mission gone wrong. It is the early days of the Irish Republic and all seven are members of Cumann na mBan and veterans of the Rising. Not present is Countess Markievicz, the president of the militant organisation, who famously advised, “If you want to walk round Ireland, or any other country, dress suitably in short skirts and strong boots, leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank, and buy a revolver.” Peter McGann and John Morton’s play goes one further, imagining their seven renegades armed to the teeth, retreating from a failed assassination attempt against Eamon de Valera, and spurred to flee to Prohibition-era America, where they earn a crust making poitín for the Chicago Mob. That, understandably, is a cocktail liable to explode.

If there’s a Tarantino-level ring of counter-factual history going on here – unchained and inglourious – not to mention a title that feels a sliver too close to a Martin McDonagh also-ran, that all fits with the ethos behind Kilkenny company Devious’s Ripping Yarn trilogy (this is the second instalment), in which the hotter the story, the better. Directed by Sarah Baxter and featuring seven fine performers, it is not necessarily intended as a subtle meditation on feminism and Fenianism. It’s something considerably more locked and loaded, a piece for when hype and history rhyme.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.