All theatre critics are bloodsucking scum
This article is from 2008.
Conor McPherson was clearly settling old scores when he wrote St Nicholas in 1997. Like many of his earliest plays, it’s a monologue and tall tale. This one is told by a successful Dublin theatre critic, a self professed ‘hack and a drunkard’. Bitter, vindictive and egocentric, he embarks on a mid-life crisis of sorts when he becomes obsessed with a young actress playing Salome. His pursuit of her leads him to London and into contact with a house full of unusual creatures of the night.
Full of pontification and tangential minutiae familiar from the spectrum of McPherson’s work, St Nicholas is a wonderfully funny text that attempts to drag the Chaucerian frame narrative through old Dublin saloon bars peopled by the likes of Samuel Beckett, Edgar Allan Poe, and of course, John Milton.
Needless to say, a work of this scope and ambition rises or falls on the strength of the performer, and veteran actor Peter Dineen is more than up to the task. Like all great storytellers he holds the audience in pin drop silence for the duration of this remarkable yarn.
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 25 Aug, 2.10pm, £11–£12 (£9–£10).