• Morgan Fagg

´Parting Glass´ reviewed

Updated: Aug 20, 2018

I write this review, ironically as an immigrant watching the play performed by another immigrant in Madrid. John McClafferty, a friend I used to play Gaelic football with, who took to the role effortlessly as Dermot Bolger´s lead character Eoin.

This is the story that will replace, Brian Friel´s Philedelphia Here I Come for future Leaving Certs classes. The words leaving and cert(ainly) cry out the horror that has become the death of the Celtic Tiger and the focus of this play.Centred around football, a few friends travel from match to match to support Ireland on her world cup dreams.

Football is their connection and their passion. They have shared the same hopes and dreams since they were boys and travel Europe to watch the boys in green do their country proud. They are a bunch of immigrants, immigration is their life.

Our main character, is the son of an immigrant, his father rarely came home.

He too finds work outside the isle and settles and marries. A half Irish, half German son, Dieter will become the third generation of immigrants to leave Ireland in this bitter reminder of Ireland´s dispersed diaspora.

Jam packed with insults of football, Irish celebrities, Athlone and pop culture. We are taken on a journey through our recent past as John McClafferty´s character returns to Ireland to get on the property ladder, invests in the market and the fortunes of Anglo Irish Bank.

When the cast arrived on stage with their scripts in hand, I first thought, amateur hour but then they open up this Celtic tiger bible of the last 2 decades. A familiar Irish journey synced to Jack´s Army.

The second irony I guess is the fact that I enjoyed the football stories as much as the rest of the play but before arriving in Spain, the last time I had played Gaelic football or any football was as a sub in the county finals in Multifarnam in 1994. Now I have subbed and played badly in Barcelona, Seville, A Curuña and Madrid.

While hand balling might be acceptable in Gaelic Football, the lead characters watch in sheer horror as Thierry Henry thinks he is playing Gaelic Football in the 2009 World Cup qualifier.

Our immigrants, together at last, watch the game in the packed French stadium before finally Parting Glass over a pint or two and return to their respective lives in different parts of the world.

A hilarious account of some unfunny moments in Irish life.

A well versed dialogue that packs bunch at every sector of Irish pop culture.

The play was performed in Madrid by the Madrid Players and directed by Andrew de Salis and adapted from the original one-man act performed in the Axis in Ballymun. John McClafferty was fantastic and convincing as our protagonist Eoin.


#madridplayers #dermotbolger #irishdiaspora #irishinspain

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