Yesterday at lunch time I went to see a great new play at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre. Those Sick and Indigent is a short play by Alan O’Regan set in a homeless shelter on the night after one of the residents has died. Care worker Ronan, with some help from two other residents, makes an inventory of the late Jack Gannon’s few possessions. We learn alot about Gannon’s life as the play progesses, but we learn more about those left behind, Ronan’s helpers Finbarr “The Cad” and Oxo.
O’Regan skilfully uses humour to temper the bleakness of the setting and the action and he never lets sentimentality creep in, which is an inherent danger when dealing with the less well off in society. The play was a runner-up in the Dublin City Public Libraries From Page to Stage competition in 2010 and in the same year won the new writer award in the Cork Arts Theatre Play Writing Award. O’Regan also won the overall prize at the Cork Arts Theatre in 2011 with a new play, so he obviously is one to watch.
The acting also is worth a mention. Mark Lambert (pictured above) as Finbarr drives the play along and Gerry O’Brien is a brilliantly intense yet fragile Oxo, while Shane O’Reilly is convincing as the young care worker, at the start unaware of the lives of those he cares for, at the end undoubtedly moved by what he has learned.
Those Sick and Indigent runs at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre until 21st January 2012. To book online go here, or just pop along at lunchtime if you’re in town. Doors open at 12.50pm and show starts at 1.10pm. Just the thing to get you through a dismal January Dublin day.