Real and Ideal Ireland at Reader’s Theatre Rep

On March 9th and 10th, Readers Theatre Repertory celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with “Ireland: Bloody Beautiful.” The production features Greatest Hits, by Irish playwright Thomas McLaughlin, along with contemporary Irish poetry and live fiddling by renowned fiddler Brongaen Griffin. David Berkson directs.

RTR traditionally stages Irish fare in March, and this year Berkson wanted to offer a contemporary perspective on the country. “The debate among artists in Ireland is that what we celebrate in America on St. Paddy’s, and what they live every day is vastly different,” he says. “Set aside the green beer and shamrocks. Playwrights like McLaughlin are full of rage, love and devotion to their land, and they feel that the only way to rediscover what the country is about is to strip away the ideal, and reveal the real — no matter how brutal and dire.”

Irish poetry and fiddling by Brongaen Griffin round out the production. Of Griffin, a Northwest favorite, the Portland Tribune wrote, ?When Brongaene plays her fiddle she plays with all the ornamentation and style of the best Irish traditional fiddlers, but with a more strident sound. You can always feel the Old-Time undertones coming through which gives her playing it?s own je ne sais quoi.?

The cast includes Kevin Kelleher and Tom Nabhan.

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