Athlone Little Theatre provides the ideal antidote to all those winter blues from Monday, February 23 as Willy Russell’s hilarious comedy, One for the Road, opens for a six night run that is sure to leave local audiences howling with laughter.
Comic mayhem, suburban paranoia, incinerated cottage pies, and female karate champions are just some of the ingredients in a madcap mix of wit and hilarity. If One for the Road doesn’t split your sides, you should probably check your pulse.
Willy Russell is the highly acclaimed author of Shirley Valentine, Blood Brothers, and Educating Rita, and One for the Road is full of his usual trademarks: hilarious characters, biting though graceful social comment, and absolutely sparkling dialogue.
It’s the story of Dennis, a moderately happily married thirtysomething who dreams of escape from his suburban life and home. Dennis imagines himself as a poet, a wanderer of the open highway who understands every line Bob Dylan has ever written, but if he hears one more tune by suburban favourites John Denver and Richard Clayderman, then he may very well kill somebody.
Cute wife Pauline can’t for the life of her figure out what’s wrong with Dennis, and instead focuses her energy on planning a dinner party to charm Roger and Jane, the king and queen of their corner of suburbia.
The only problem is, the arrival of these two turns out to be the straw that breaks Dennis’ already overloaded back, and Pauline herself has one or two skeletons in the closet.
The mayhem gets started in earnest as Pauline’s carefully crafted plans go hilariously awry. Dennis’ parents get lost in suburbia, the dinner gets incinerated, and one embarrassing revelation after another comes tumbling out in the course of a wine and beer soaked evening.
Director Jason Gill has been fortunate to assemble a talented cast for this hilarious evenings entertainment. In the best Little Theatre fashion, exciting new talent is combined with some of the group’s most talented performers in a package that is guaranteed to leave audiences howling for more.
As Dennis, newcomer Dave Halpin gives a tour de force as the disgruntled suburbanite terrified by the thought that this might be all there is. A graduate of drama studies at NUI Maynooth, this is Dave’s first not to be missed outing with Athlone Little Theatre.
Will Dennis make it? Will he achieve his dream of escape or face a lifetime listening to John Denver? You’ll be kept guessing up to the last moment.
As his baffled wife, Pauline, the Little Theatre is delighted to welcome another newcomer. The very talented Deirdre Flynn is a native of Longford who is making what should be a most enjoyable debut on the Athlone stage.
As Jane, the Attila of Willy Russell’s suburbia, Lorraine Harney makes what is certain to be a most warmly received return to the Little Theatre. Star of numerous plays and musicals, Lorraine’s turn as the kickboxing queen of Castlehills is sure to be an absolute delight.
As Roger, Jane’s self-absorbed and philandering husband, Dermot McManus is sure to leave audiences rolling in the aisles. Dermot has emerged as one of local theatre’s most talented young actors, as his recent roles in Abigail’s Party, Lone Star, and The Brothers Malone will testify, and his turn in One for the Road will prove no exception.
Set design and lighting are by Paddy Martin and Clive Darling, with backstage support from Jean Farrell and Bernadette Naughton.
In short, if you like a laugh, then you simply couldn’t wish for a better evening.
The show runs from Monday February 23 until Saturday February 28.
Bookings can be had by contacting the Little Theatre, St Mary’s Place, on (090 ) 6474324.