“Outside Mullingar” at BETC review: Hopeful, funny and fine
A moving story, beautifully told and impeccably acted
Denver Post Theater Critic
* * * * Stars | Drama
Imagine a play set in the Irish countryside that isn’t focused on tragic loss, tragic rain. John Patrick Shanley’s “Mullingar” soars to different poignant and romantic heights, offering hope and humor. This tale of courage and connections has more in common with Shanley’s “Moonstruck” than his “Doubt.”
The central dilemma here is change and how difficult it can be in human relationships, in families and in potential romance. Whether it arrives in the form of love or death, change is scary.
Smartly directed by Rebecca Remaly, this production transports us to the rural farmlands of Killucan, near Mullingar, in County Westmeath, beginning in 2008. The words let us find the tenderness in the initially cranky characters. Scratch the surface of these weathered folks and bluster turns to vulnerability.
The confined space and spare set — two farmhouse kitchens and just outside — are appropriately subdued. The design trains our focus on the poetic words and fine delivery by an experienced, winning cast.