Wednesday, August 10, 2022

St Mungo’s The Ladies – GAA club satire completes the Grimes and McKee trilogy (Lyric Theatre until Sunday 21 August)

Rounding off the St Mungo’s trilogy, Grimes and McKee are back with St Mungo’s The Ladies.

When Dearbhla asks Uncle Club Chairman if she can start up a ladies team, she starts the ball rolling on an endeavour that will put Luganulk noses out of joint, ruffle feathers, undermine the patriarchy, and steal more than the men’s thunder.

Playing in the Lyric Theatre as part of Féile an Phobail, many in the audience clearly recognise the send up of familiar GAA club foibles. As well as well-caricatured rivalries between men’s and women’s teams, we overhear the gossip and the bitching behind the tuck shop counter, and discover the lengths a club will go to find a cure for an injured star.

The mimicry behind the characters is consistent and builds up as particular eejits reappear. The simple set serves the show well, and director Ciaran Nolan has the cast of three well drilled in the physical choreography that’s necessary to keep the comedy moving.

Alan McKee and Conor Grimes comfortably slip into their roles as the bolshy chairman and the full-of-ideas wish-you-hadn’t-asked vice chair of St Mungos. Caroline Curran is a capable edition to the team and well up for the singing, dancing and mucking about that comes with a Grimes and McKee production.

Favourite moments include the whistling teeth of historian Pontius, the baldy tire joke, Grimes miming playing an accordion, and a rival women’s team called the Lenadoon Countess Markieviczs. The show neither promises nor accidentally delivers a night of heady moral philosophy or high drama, but the linked sketches are good craic, although the stretched St Mungo’s material may be reaching its elastic limit.

Two seats away, I though a man might have injured himself laughing at the dodgy impersonation of a Kerry accent. Oddly, he was one of the few aspects of the show that didn’t feature in the running sideline commentary from the women in the seats immediately behind me. For the record, they thought the first half was too short and, like me, were somewhat surprised by the very abrupt ending.

St Mungo’s The Ladies continues at the Lyric Theatre until Sunday 21 August

Enjoyed this review? Why click on the Buy Me a Tea button!

No comments: