Emma Toner reviews ‘The Deal’: “Good old macabre fun!”

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The Deal, a production by Cowslip Productions opened in the Civic Theatre to a packed crowd despite the unseasonal snow!  Set in the familiar Irish theatre setting of a rural Irish cottage the action begins with Andy, a Mammy’s boy in his 50’s calling the doctor because his elderly mother has become violent and is beginning to hallucinate.  The characters and setting of this play may be familiar to the regular Irish theatre goer but that is where the similarity ends.  Yes, there is hard drinking, obsessive religiousness, misery and an overbearing Irish Mammy but what Irish play doesn’t have these characteristics.

Andy has devoted his life to Mammy whereas Mickey Mo, the belligerent drunken older brother took after his father, who Mammy detested all her life.  After Mammy’s death the farm is divided much to the disgust of Andy and Mickey Mo.  The story line may be familiar but it also takes a clever and dark sidestep into the absurd.  Andy (Gerry Walsh) steals the show with his over- the- top character which is startling at first but when the audience realises that this production is a farce he blends in perfectly!    Aisling O’Neill as Maisy, a young woman surrounded by clueless Irish men is excellent, comfortable on stage and well able to command attention.

It was obvious that this play managed to spike the audience’s attention and got plenty of feedback and laughs.  Alcohol is a theme that runs through the play and the characters veins and it also lends itself to a nasty surprise at the end.

There isn’t just one ‘deal’ here but many and the play shows how perhaps sometimes deals are not entered into for the right reasons.  Deals entered into for selfish reason hardly ever work out…or do they?  You’ll have to head to the Civic Theatre to find out! ‘The Deal’ is dark and shocking while at the same time an absurdist comedy; good old macabre fun!

~ Reviewed by Emma Toner

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The Deal runs until Saturday, 30th March. Tickets are €20 & €16 concession. Phone 01 – 4627477 to book tickets or book online here.

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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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