You’re wha? The Snapper heads up this week’s theatre highlights

Roddy Doyle’s stage version of his Barrytown novel gets a few minor millennial tweaks

Shear nostalgia: Simon Delaney in The Snapper

Shear nostalgia: Simon Delaney in The Snapper

 

The Snapper

The Gate Theatre Jun 6th- Aug 24th 7.30pm gatetheatre.ie

The second novel in Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy is as secure and uncomplicated a part of Irish nostalgia as the good feeling of Italia ’90 (also from the same year) and as pleasingly fuzzy in the mind as a VHS recording of the 1993 film adaptation. It’s funny to consider, though, that Sharon Rabbitte’s baby would now be nearly 30. For her Millennial attitudes, perhaps, Doyle’s stage version of The Snapper, revived from last summer, makes some intriguing adjustments. It begins, for instance, not with Jimmy Rabbitte’s immortal line “You’re wha?”, but Sharon’s own announcement, “I’m pregnant!”. That’s a subtle re-orientation, although a lot less funny, much like one compassionate addition of support for those who, unlike Sharon, decide not to be.

Otherwise the play is so faithful to the original that The Snapper often seems nostalgic for itself, given neon-bright energy by director Róisín McBrinn. Sharon won’t name the father. Rumours abound. Jimmy Rabbitte Snr does his heart-warming best (Ah, jaysis). Veronica is forever sewing. The house is a bright allegro of demand, worry and good-humoured abuse. That can be hard to reconcile with a plot that pivots on a young woman getting pregnant while too drunk to give consent. Sharon may not recognise it as rape, but the play seems more conflicted, recalling the moment in a disturbance of video images, while restricting Mr Burgess to a pathetic figure of fun. For all its warm escapism, that might be part of The Snapper people prefer to forget.

Cotton Fingers

Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray Jun 1 8pm mermaidartscentre.ie

All politics is local, goes one mantra. But often the implications reach far further. Take the story of Aoife, a young woman in Belfast, bored and hungry for more from life, who finds herself seeking help beyond her home. When half an hour in the bedroom of a young man brings unintended consequences, her options for abortion in Northern Ireland are heavily restricted, but not so in the rest of the United Kingdom. Or, as it happens, in the Republic.

Rachel Trezise’s coming of age tale, performed by Amy Molloy, initially had another audience in mind when it premiered last year. A commission by the National Theatre of Wales, as part of a festival of monologues held to celebrate the National Health Service’s 70th birthday, its debut in the west Wales town of Fishguard had a sombre kind of significance: this is where the Irish ferries dock. Addressing cycles of shame and secrecy, and the power of female autonomy, the show now has its own reason to make a journey, providing the NTW with its first tour of Ireland, North and South, concluding in Bray.

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.