Gifted Irish playwright has arrived Gary Duggan’s “Daedlus Lounge” hits Broadway
Set in Dublin over the course of one wild Christmas play sees three of the most talented Broadway actors in the starring roles
Has the penny finally dropped? This week Irish playwright Gary Duggan’s play Dedalus Lounge, which is set in Dublin over the course of one wild Christmas, will open on Thursday, January 12 with three of the most talented Broadway actors in the starring roles.
It’s about time this gifted young writer got a production of this quality, and here’s hoping that it will bring his work to the attention of the most influential critics here who have been far too slow to recognize his talent.
Duggan’s urban, fast-paced plays may have proved difficult for some American critics to appreciate since they’re generally set in modern Ireland, rather than in picturesque west of Ireland cabins they’re over familiar with.
In other words, they present major challenges to critical impressions of Ireland that have generally been formed by the 19th century Irish Literary Revival.
It’s not controversial to say, that and unfortunatly it’s also not untrue. Critics here have consistently elevated new Irish plays that look and sound as though they could have been written 50 years ago over plays like Duggan’s that disrupt a misplaced nostalgia for a long vanished world.
In overlooking the modern in favor of the familiar, critics have also done theater-going audiences here a disservice, because in refusing to educate themselves they have overlooked a cultural goldmine.
Duggan’s work consistently presents some of the most striking portraits of modern Ireland seen anywhere, and it’s about time he received the credit that deserves.
Forget Eamon de Valera’s comely maidens dancing at the crossroads. In Duggan’s world, desperation, casual sex, bereavement, shoplifting, bisexuality and rampant disloyalty are the order of the day -- in particular in his new production of Dedalus Lounge, a play he wrote five years ago.
“It’s a dark comedy about an Irish Christmas,” Duggan tells the Irish Voice. “Three friends meet in a bar in Dublin, they haven’t seen each other in a long while and they’re catching up. It’s about friendship too.”
But this is a Duggan play, which means the dialogue is briskly paced, the scenes themselves are highly theatrical, and you’re watching a playwright who knows how to craft the whole thing together seamlessly.
“My impression of Ireland and Dublin in particular is what I’ve experienced and grown up with in the last 10 or 15 years,” explains Duggan.
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