Enjoyable drama captures life in small-town Ireland

The Streets are Ours: (from left) Jarlath Tivnan, ÓisÍn Robbins, Jerry Fitzgerald and Maria Dillon. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.
The Streets are Ours: (from left) Jarlath Tivnan, ÓisÍn Robbins, Jerry Fitzgerald and Maria Dillon. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

The most noticeable thing about the foyer of Mick Lally Theatre (Druid) last Friday, is the young age profile of the audience; it’s the opening night of the premiere of The Streets Are Ours, and it is packed with people in their mid-to-late-20s/early-30s.

That’s what’s good about Galway Theatre Festival – it’s not just the usual suspects you find at every Galway Arts Festival show.  This annual event – celebrating its 10th year in 2018 – as well as developing new theatre talent, attracts new theatregoers for the first time, too.

On Friday, there was that nervous energy in the room of not having been to a show before but that’s part of what GTF is all about.

Early on in Fregoli Theatre’s production of writer Robert Higgins’ play, it’s clear that the giddiness of some of the audience members has as much to do with their familiarity with the cast, as it does the wittiness of the characters. That’s fair enough. But there are times when etiquette should be observed – a couple who left midway through, at a particularly poignant point in the production, were just plain rude. Twenty more minutes is not that much to endure, even if you’re not enjoying it.

And there were plenty of reasons to stay, especially for first-timers, not least an affinity with the characters. Perhaps stereotypical, these characters were nonetheless engaging and funny and everyone in the auditorium would know somebody like at least one of them.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.