Waiting for Poirot review: A celebration of Limerick’s local talent

The daring murder mystery is full of action and keeps families entertained throughout

Waiting for Poirot  performed at the People’s Park, Limerick. Photograph: Keith Wiseman

Waiting for Poirot performed at the People’s Park, Limerick. Photograph: Keith Wiseman

 

WAITING FOR POIROT

The People’s Park, Limerick
★★★★☆
It is 1925, the early days of Irish Independence and the newly established Garda Síochána is still finding its feet. In Limerick city, Sir Montague Garrick’s Travelling Theatre & Electric Cinematograph has taken up residence at the People’s Park to entertain locals with a daring murder mystery play. With the sudden death of the leading man, however, the drama spills off stage, and the audience is held hostage until the murderer is found. Will the elusive detective Hercule Poirot, expected any minute, solve the case, or can detectives Maguire and Patterson get to the bottom of the strange events?

Mike Finn’s script is embedded in both the site and broader setting for this enormously ambitious ensemble production, directed by Tara Doolan and Pius McGrath. The script is crammed with local lore that feeds off both the history and contemporary reality of Limerick city, as well as clever Covid puns that are integrated easily into the players’ rhyming welcome to the audience as it assembles for the beginning of the promenade piece, which is also the start of the show within the show.

Finn’s play is in open conversation with Beckett’s famous play in which nothing happens. However, the meta-theatrical dialogue is not overdone and there is plenty of action to keep a family audience entertained throughout the 90-minute experience: comedy chases, a changing cast of suspects, messenger boys coming to and fro on bikes, news of a theft from the nearby Limerick City Gallery of Art.

The local cast bring a wide range of talent to the multi-faceted performance, which incorporates dance, circus, music, light opera, as well as narrative action. Most impressive are Eleanor O’Brien and McGrath as the lead detectives, whose own back stories add an enormous amount to the impressive depth of Finn’s script.

The audience on the occasion of my viewing was entirely adult, but my nine-year-old companion was thoroughly invested in the production, leading the charge through the park as the cast of characters followed the clues. This collaboration between Limerick’s Belltable and Lime Tree Theatre, with Honest Arts, is both a love letter and a gift to the city. With two shows every evening, it deserves a wide audience for its celebration of a wonderful local site and the city’s local talent.

Runs until Sunday, August 1st

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.