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Laugh, Cry And Jump Out Of Your Seat

Laugh, Cry And Jump Out Of Your Seat

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From the July 25th edition of The Kilkenny Reporter.

Night Of The Living Dead Review by Aisling Hurley

Devious Theatre’s latest play Night of the Living Dead is another storming production from a theatre group that always delivers first rate entertainment. The play is loosely based on George E Romero’s 1968 film of the same name which thematically dealt with the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement.

The Devious production transposes the story to Ireland and looks at our present economic crisis and emigration brain drain. A group of strangers including a grumpy builder, a selfish banker and a bunch of squabbling teens are trapped in a house together. They begin ripping each other apart and prove to be more of a problem to themselves than the zombies lurking outside.

Director John Morton and co-writer Connie Walsh very cleverly keep the monsters out of view for much of the show. Like Jaws and many other great horror movies, the unseen plays on the audience’s imagination a lot more effectively. This allows for many fine comedic scenes especially the politically incorrect banter of the builder Ben and some moving moments involving the banker’s daughter.

As always with Devious Theatre the performances are uniformly excellent. It is difficult to pick one out as this ensemble is seamlessly integrated. For many, John Kennedy’s turn as Frankie, a kind of hipster Woody Allen will be a favourite; his pitch perfect timing renders every line hilarious. Also superb are Eddie Murphy who makes Ben, a tough guy with a filthy gob, really endearing and Connie Walsh as Barbara who makes an impressive centre to all the action.

The characters of Tom and Judy are sympathetically drawn by Kevin Mooney and Aoibhín Murphy who portray the jock and bitch with a lot of subtlety. Nuala Roche and Paul Young capture all the pathos of their character’s situation and the trio of travellers played by Adrian Kavanagh, Dave Thompson and Michael Hayes provide much needed comic relief.

Night of the Living Dead at The Watergate Theatre is the theatrical event of the summer so be sure to catch it before it finishes on Saturday. This play improves on the classic film and will make you laugh, cry and jump out of your seat. One thing is certain you will never look at a hurl in the same way again.

Photo by Ross Costigan

Night Of The Living Dead runs until Saturday July 28th at 8pm nightly. Bookings on 056-7761674.

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