The Quare Land
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The Quare Land: Theater review by Sandy MacDonald
Watching a 90-year-old man take his first bath in several years might not sound like a barrel of laughs, but put Irish Rep regular Peter Maloney in that tub and you're guaranteed a good time.
Scrofulous doesn't begin to describe Hugh Pugh’s condition. You’ll be tempted to avert your eyes—but then you'd miss seeing him use an ingenious pulley system to fetch a bottle of stout from a makeshift cooler: a filthy toilet bowl. The set-up is a George Booth cartoon come to life.
Into this sordid scene ventures Rob McNulty (Rufus Collins), a developer panting to acquire some of Pugh’s acreage in order to expand a golf resort popular with a rusticating English crowd. The plan doesn't sit well with the cantankerous old coot, and he dodges the overture by spinning shaggy-dog tales and singing musical snippets (his Enya impression alone makes this show a must-see).
Some plot twists are overly tidy, but no matter. It's a treat to hang out with this rascally, irascible old-timer…as long as you're not desperate to close a deal.
DR2 Theatre (Off Broadway). By John McManus. Directed by Ciarán O’Reilly. With Rufus Collins, Peter Maloney. Running time: 1hr 20 mins. No intermission.