The Quare Fellow

Money For The Sun's production of The Quare Fellow is an astounding bit of theatre. Written by Brendan Behan and based on his time spent in prison, the play revolves around the final days of a condemned man in Mountjoy prison. The Quare Fellow as they call him, much like Godot, (spoiler warning) never makes an appearance. Instead, we are treated to a myriad of prisoners and guards as they discuss and deal with the realities of prison life and the consequences of the death penalty.

A great script is useless without the cast to pull it off and this production is swimming in talent.

The production has certainly arrived at the right time, the script is from the 50s and maybe 10 years ago some of the topics would have seemed a bit outdated. But with things as they are and as they are going, topics like the Anglo-Irish Trade War suddenly take on new dimensions. Though the central themes of the play are timeless.

The first act is quite simply hilarious. It is filled with plenty of gags and japes with a real sardonic wit. It works so well it feels like Dick Clement must have seen it and said "that would make a great sitcom". As the play progresses it becomes slower and more thoughtful. The changing in pacing works well to show the strain of the situation on the characters. We come to release that the jokes were gallows humour and as the time draws closer it is a coping mechanism that doesn't work so well.

A great script is useless without the cast to pull it off and this production is swimming in talent. There is a good mix of stage acting styles on show. Even though some characters appear for bafflingly brief times, the cast ensures each character is memorable.

This is Money For The Sun's first production and it is one hell of a calling card and certainly a production company to keep an eye on. If you are looking for some classic theatre with a contemporary feel or just want to see cracking good show The Quare Fellow is for you.

Reviews by James W. Woe

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The Blurb

Written by Brendan Behan, The Quare Fellow takes place in Mountjoy prison during the early 1950’s. We follow the events that unfold during the hours before an execution by hanging.

Written with Behan’s typical humour and depth, we are presented with a very personal depiction of prison life.

Dialogue is intertwined between a rich tapestry of characters as we discover a grim world that seems lacking in an appreciation of life.

Exposed to gruesome crimes and in turn corporal and capital punishment, these men wrestle with what it is to be human and at times seem totally desensitised to the imminent ‘topping’ of ‘The Quare Fellow’.

We ourselves are drawn inside the walls and minds of these characters as we await the final echoing knell of the auld triangle.