Conor McPherson is a modern Irish playwright. His work is Ireland without the glamour – but there remains always the magic, and the supernatural will be part of the story somehow.
This is particularly true of The Seafarer, running at the Ensemble through November 2. Four old Irish drunks, replaying old tapes every day and every minute – especially on this Christmas Eve. They each have their back stories, and Sharky is currently not drinking. After waking up in various stages of disrepair, the group wanders out to shop for the final touches for Christmas – mainly everything from Harp and Miller’s to poteen (Irish moonshine). They find a stranger on their trip and bring him back with them, to play cards through the evening. Since this is a Faustian tale, you can guess who that Dark Stranger is.
Lots of great touches in the set, in the music, in the play’s references and unfolding. A little strange to be hearing Christmas music during a play at Halloween, but there’s plenty of trick or treat included. It turned out to be a great way to let my red-headed grandson get a taste of what holidays were like with all my Irish uncles as I was growing up.
Definitely worth seeing, and you’ve only got another week. Do your election volunteering and then show up at the Ensemble.