Posted in drama, forgotten plays, found plays, Irish drama, lost plays, love, love story, old, radio drama, Teresa Deevy, The Mint Theatre

Deevy Project

Generally when I hear a play has not been produced in lo these many years, I think perhaps its absence was a welcome thing.

Not so with the Deevy Project works, or for that matter most of the Mint Theater’s repertory.

The Suitcase Under the Bed, at the Beckett at Theatre Row extended through September 30th 23rd, refers to the place where Mint Artistic Director, Jonathan Bank found the treasures on this bill of four one-act plays. Thanks to his exacting curation, the program has a cohesion of theme and sensibility.

It opens with Strange Birth, a charming love story, with the very charming Ellen Adair playing the housemaid Sara Meade, the object of Bill The Post’s (Aidan Redmond) affection. The other three plays–In The Cellar of My Friend and Holiday House, and finishing with The King of Spain’s Daughter— are all in fact love stories as well. Some are wry, some are winsome, all eccentric to a degree particular in a Teresa Deevy play.

The cast of seven (in addition to Adair and Redmond, Gina Costigan, Sarah Nicole Deaver, Cynthia Mace, Colin Ryan, and A.J. Shively– each in a variety of roles) deliver their diverse characterizations superbly. There are lovely musical interludes as well as Entr’acte poems to mark the transitions from one play to the next. The scenic designs by Vicki R. Davis serve each setting with small but well detailed changes.

Each story is carefully defined and delineated with care under Jonathan Bank’s splendid direction.

For more information, and tickets for this and other Mint productions, please visit
http://minttheater.org/.

 

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Posted in forgotten plays, Short plays, The Mint Theatre

Small treats

Intrepid archeologists find lost, forgotten, hidden, unsung or underappreciated treasure.
The explorers at the Mint Theatre Company are no less persistent in valiantly unearthing the charms from the past. Their hunt is among the history of theatrical productions.

In their search, they have uncovered many gems, especially several from the prolific pen of Teresa Deevy, an Irish dramatist active with Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in the late 1930s and ’40s. It’s always a special occasion when a Teresa Deevy  play is on view.

This year, they kick off the early fall 2017 with The Suitcase Under the Bed, a quartet of short plays found from whence they were stored. Three are world premieres and are presented here as part of the Mint’s Deevy Project.

The Suitcase Under the Bed began production on July 21st and runs through September 23rd at Theatre Row’s Beckett Theatre. For information and tickets, please visit The Mint’s website.

Posted in Allan Monkhouse, dark comedy drama, family drama, forgotten plays

He Really Is A Beast, Just Ask Mary Broome

Grace and gentility can attach to anyone in any station in life. It is not reserved for the well-born.

Such sentiments are mostly foreign to us in what we like to consider our egalitarian society, but they are fitting for a long lost English play from 1911 like“Mary Broome,” revived by The Mint Theater Company through October 21st. In Allan Monkhouse’s sharp comedy/drama, the titular servant has more class and sense than her masters.


The family gather in the parlor: Kristin Griffith as Mrs. Timbrell, Julie Jesnick as Sheila Ray, Katie Fabel as Ada Timbrell, Rod Brogan as Edgar Timbrell, Janie Brookshire as Mary Broome, Graeme Malcolm as Edward Timbrell, and Roderick Hill as Leonard Timbrell in Allan Monkhouse’s “Mary Broome,” at the Mint. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Leonard Timbrell (Roderick Hill), the youngest in an affluent family and a ne’er do well , is the least likeable of many flawed characters in “Mary Broome.” Leonard’s mother, Mrs. Timbrell (Kristin Griffith) is the only one in the family who seems almost beyond reproach. 
Janie Brookshire, Roderick Hill and Kristin Griffith in a photo by Carol Rosegg.
Leonard has charmed and seduced the Timbrell’s otherwise sensible parlor maid, Mary Broome (Janie Brookshire.) When his father, Edward (Graeme Malcolm) insists that they marry in exchange for a handsome stipend, Mary reluctantly, and against her better judgement, agrees.

Leonard’s brother Edgar (Rod Brogan), his fiance Sheila (Julie Jesnick) and their sister Ada (Katie Fabel) are displeased at having a maid as an in-law. Mrs. Timbrell alone welcomes Mary whole-heartedly. She also hopes that Mary will have a salutory affect on her son.

Leonard’s constant disclaimers that he is “a beast” become cloying, disingenuous and self-serving. He is a self-centered cad. Mary, and even his very forgiving mother, eventually catch on to his slippery lack of integrity. Roderick Hill, to his great credit, is not looking to be likeable.
In “Mary Broome,” we have snobs and humbugs on the one hand, and a wastrel and bounder on the other, flanked by the women who sometimes find him endearing.

The excellent production, led by director Jonathan Bank, and with piquant sets by Roger Hanna, balances the comic with the serious briliantly. The cast are flawless, even if their characters are not.

The Mint, whose motto is “Lost Plays Found Here,” has unearthed another gem.

For more information, and for tickets, visit http://minttheater.org/.