Empty vistas under the burning sun

AN EXCITING comedy double bill by the Barn Owl Players of James McClure’s Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star will take place at the Watergate this Friday and Saturday (September 28 and 29).

AN EXCITING comedy double bill by the Barn Owl Players of James McClure’s Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star will take place at the Watergate this Friday and Saturday (September 28 and 29).

The two comedy one acts set in the southern United States were written in the late 1970′s and have entertained audiences around the world. Although each play can be, and often is performed as a stand-alone one act, they interlock in numerous ways and are more often performed together. The setting for each play is Maynard, Texas, a tiny town in the middle of nowhere that seems to consist of burning sun and empty vistas.
Lone Star takes place in the cluttered backyard of the small town Texas bar. Roy (played by Jim Carroll), once a local high school hero, is back in town after a tour of duty in Vietnam, trying to re-establish his position in the community. Laundry and Bourbon is set in the front porch of Roy and his wife Elizabeth’s home, on a hot summer afternoon. Elizabeth (played by Ita Morrissey) and her friend Hattie (Nicola Keating) are whiling away the time folding laundry, watching TV, sipping bourbon. They are joined by the self-righteous Amy (Janis Woodgate) who has information Elizabeth does not wish to hear.

A beloved pink Thunderbird convertible is part of all their history since high school. But those uncomplicated days of young love and double dating now seem very distant indeed.

Both plays are directed by Philip Hardy. “Revisiting the script of the McLure’s double bill is quite exciting because of playing a different venue, the Watergate. It’s also very interesting working with an all-male cast on one play, and all-female on the other. It’s two very different approaches, two very different plays yet connected. It is interesting, very interesting,” said Mr Hardy. Both pieces were performed as part of the One-Act Festival in the Barn in 2010.

James McLure was born in Louisiana in 1951 and spent his life as a writer for stage, screen and television. Besides this Double Bill, ‘Private Wars’ and ‘Reckless’ with Aidan Quinn are some of his better known pieces. He was part of the Vietnam generation and described his plays as a combination of autobiography and people I have known.

All the actors are well known and have treaded the boards of the Watergate Theatre on several occasions. The cast for Lone Star is John Whitely, Jim Carroll and Michael Somers and Ita Morrissey, Janis Woodgate and Nicola Keating will perform in Laundry & Bourbon.

The comedy double bill will run this Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are priced at E12 and E10 and are available from The Watergate. To make a booking, call 056 7761674.