“Seamus brought a crowd of theatre goers to tears with the raw emotion of his play”: Emma Toner reviews ‘The Sand Park’

Sand Park 300 x 300

Seamus O’Rorke and Big Guerilla Productions have brought ‘The Sand Park’ to the Civic Theatre.  Last night in the intimate Loose End studio space, Seamus brought a crowd of theatre goers to tears with the raw emotion of his play.  They also laughed until their sides hurt!  This is a simple play about a simple man, that is not to say an unintelligent man  just a regular Joe Soap in midlands Ireland coming to terms with his grief in the only way he can.  This is a play for all of Ireland, everyone can identify with James Anthony, an Offaly farmer who bring his sandwiches in a bread wrapper to the grave of his wife and son to have a chat.

James Anthony brings us on a journey filled with laughter love and unbearable sadness.  It is the mundaneness of his tale that is nearly the most shocking, because it is so identifiable.  James Anthony is a skilled story teller and expertly skips from one story to the next all the while infusing them with character observations and wit  such as “ everybody knows that our family was a notorious size for our generation… sure Daddy was 26 stone when he passed away and him after wasting away”.

The subject is universal; grief and how we deal with it.  Particularly how the Irish cope with loss, usually sprinkled with our natural dark humour.  The rural rhetoric is immediately recognisable and makes the experience that more pleasurable.  The ending of ‘The Sand Park’ is shocking and heart-warming at the same time.  Seamus O’Rorke is superb, he brings energy, empathy and palpable emotion to the character of James Anthony Lowery, a man trying get on with things the best he can.  A delightful  play not to be missed.

~ Reviewed by Emma Toner


The Sand Park runs at the Civic Theatre until Sat 23rd February in the Main Auditorium. Tickets are available online at www.civictheatre.ie or phone 01 4627477.

About Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre's Mission is to mount an artistic and challenging programme of contemporary and classical Irish and international work in Theatre, Dance, Opera and Music for the community of South Dublin county and environs. History The Civic Theatre, opened in March 1999, a project of South Dublin County Council and also grant aided by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. The first production at The Civic Theatre Tallaght was Howie the Rookie by Mark O'Rowe, directed by Mike Bradwell and starring Aidan Kelly and Karl Shiels. It opened on the 23rd March 1999. Since opening we have developed relationships with most Irish theatre companies and most opera, contemporary dance, ballet and children's theatre companies, developing healthy audiences for these. We are particularly proud of our co-productions – to date we've produced; or co-produced 22 plays, involving new Irish writing. We have hosted wonderful international productions, fantastic local work, and we have had some terrific nights of music on stage at the Civic.
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1 Response to “Seamus brought a crowd of theatre goers to tears with the raw emotion of his play”: Emma Toner reviews ‘The Sand Park’

  1. Pingback: The Sand Park National Tour | Seamus O'Rourke

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