Juno and the Paycock. Irish Repertory Theatre (see Off Broadway). By Sean O'Casey. Directed by Charlotte Moore. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 15mins. One intermission.
Juno and the Paycock: In brief
Irish Rep bigwig Charlotte Moore directs a revival of Sean O'Casey's bittersweet tragedy about a Dublin family buffeted by the harsh waves of the Irish Civil War. The cast is led by J. Smith-Cameron, Ciarán O'Reilly and John Keating.
Juno and the Paycock: Theater review by Helen Shaw
In keeping Irish classics onstage, the Irish Repertory Theatre does righteous work, but its infectious missionary zeal can sometimes fade to a duty-done self-congratulation. This is the case with Rep cofounder Charlotte Moore's unimaginative, unembroidered production of Sean O'Casey's 1924 Juno and the Paycock, which cracks open the seminal work but then hastily packs it away again.
O'Casey's comedo-tragedy about a poor Dublin family—brought high by inheritance, and low by the Irish Civil War and human weakness—doesn't deserve the mothball treatment. It contains the great role of Jack Boyle (our titular peacock), a blustering, work-shy captain afloat on a sea of ale and self-delusion. The Rep's other cofounder, Ciarán O'Reilly, unwisely cast himself, undoing the smarter choice of J. Smith-Cameron as Jack's tart wife, Juno. The pair finds no joy nor invention, and following its bare-bones example, the company (aside from reliably zany John Keating) does two-dimensional work that resolutely smells of the page.—Theater review by Helen Shaw
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