Fishamble presents “Haughey | Gregory”, an insightful work reflecting upon social and political issues of the Haughey era; written by Colin Murphy and directed by Conall Morrison.
This play can certainly be deemed as having satirical undertones and left-wing sympathies. It critiques the political mess in Ireland during the time Charles Haughey was Taoiseach in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. It portrays several unsatisfied members of government serving their own interests while displaying the work of Independent TD Tony Gregory, who attempts to establish a voice and create necessary change for the people living on Dublin’s north side.
The play includes creditable performances by actors Peter Coonan, Ruairí Heading, Morgan Jones, Janet Moran and Jonathan White who juggled multiple roles of the politicians mentioned, advisors, secretaries and the press. They effectively convey the message of social injustice and the inefficiency of the government. Janet Moran’s performance particularly stands out, giving a slight comedic air to the play while portraying an eclectic range of characters.
The set and music certainly enhance the overall experience. It perfectly conveys the era, from the clever use of a classic projector displaying handwritten information of the location to the catchy tunes from the charts from the relevant decades. The props and costumes were appropriate, with vintage radio sets and the 70’s questionable taste in cardigans and supplementary attire. Even the placement of the two desks was significant, with the shabby ordinary desk used by the left-wing parties and Gregory on the left, while their right-wing counterparts using the ornate one on the right.
It’s clear that this play is aimed towards an audience who has experienced Haughey’s time as Taoiseach. Regardless, it poses an important question that is still relevant within Irish society today. How can social change occur when many voices within our society are ignored as a result of politicians acting for their own interests? There is no doubt that “Haughey | Gregory’s” universal message is clearly conveyed. Politics should be about the citizens, all inclusive, and especially the underprivileged.
by Charlotte Cox.
8 -10 February 2018