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Director Gabriel Byrne and writer and performer Gerard Mannix Flynn (in association with Liam Neeson) have brought James X to New York.

A searing portrait of abuse - Mannix Flynn’s one man show ‘James X’ in NYC

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Director Gabriel Byrne and writer and performer Gerard Mannix Flynn (in association with Liam Neeson) have brought James X to New York.

There are marvelous sequences.  Flynn’s portrayal of his own birth is one of the most wildly beautiful and hilarious moments I have witnessed in my theater going life. 

He is also particularly good at capturing the banal but chilling sophistries of the agents of the Irish state in the 20th century. Those sequences, where judges preside over the interment of Irish children, are terrifying. 

Less engaging, curiously enough, are the details of Flynn’s own broken down family life in Dublin. We’ve been to these overcrowded working class Catholic houses many times before, and although they underline one of the roots of the problem, we already know what to anticipate. 

Where James X really takes flight is in Flynn’s note-perfect reproduction the impartial tones of the agents of the state and religious orders. Having had the mirror held up to him his whole life, only to be condemned and cast aside, Flynn finally has the opportunity to hold a bright polished glass up to Irish society itself. 

For tickets to James X call (866) 811-4111 or visitwww.cultureproject.org. The engagement runs until Sunday, December 18. 

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