Theater review by Helen Shaw
A baffling waste of resources and time, David Ireland’s failed black comedy stretches a single bad analogy into a numbing 100 minutes. Stephen Rea plays Eric, an Ulster Unionist so insane with anti-Catholic feeling that he thinks his new grandbaby is literally the former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams; the increasingly violent Eric then spews great gouts of bigotry (of every stripe), which is meant to shock us into laughter and, one assumes, into seeing that such foulness is wrong. Certainly racism can be like madness, but it’s not actually useful to pretend it’s the same thing as psychotic derangement—a distinction this repetitive, smug, underthought play blithely ignores.
Public Theater (Off Broadway). By David Ireland. Directed by Vicky Featherstone. With Stephen Rea. Running time: 1hr 40mins. No intermission.