Connecticut, U.S.A. – A card game is
slow and drags in the beginning. It can be boring, humorous and sometimes
The same can be
said about The Seafarer, an
unusual play showing at TheaterWorks in Hartford.
Written by Irish
playwright Conor McPherson, The
Seafarer will make you realize
how detrimental drinking really is.
Sharky, Ivan and
Richard (Dean Nolen, John Ahlin, and Edmond Genest) are just three hung-over
Irish losers that like to play poker. But when Christmas Eve rolls around and
Satan (Allen McCullough) comes a calling, it's not to sing carols or deliver
"Mr. Lockhart" lost
a game of cards to Sharky, the underachieving leader of the group, long ago. But
the Devil never forgets and he's back, eager for a full house – of souls.
Allen McCullough as Mr. Lockhart and
Dean Nolen as Sharky in TheaterWorks' production of The Seafarer.
Photo by Lanny Nagler.
The first 45
minutes of the play featured the three hopeless alcoholics in full form. After a
long night of hardcore drinking, all they are able to do is hobble around while
babbling and arguing about arbitrary matters. Swearing is in abundance.
After a Christmas
shopping trip that lasts the whole day, the gang returns to find that an old
friend, Nicky (Chris Genebach), has popped in along with Mr. Lockhart, the Devil
The group agrees to
play a game of cards after the Devil confronts Sharky, reminding him of their
previous fateful meeting. Horrified, Sharky agrees to play, though he is
completely unsure of the outcome.
As random as its
name, The Seafarer contains
irrelevant, though intriguing parts that draw away from the main point of the
story, if there is one.
constantly go off on a tangent and when they finally return to the story, the
play becomes boring. The boring factor can be explained by the fact that the
characters are boring people who do boring things.
The most exciting
part of the story is when the Devil reveals himself to Sharky. A whoosh of air
can be heard as the lamps are put out and the stage is lit with an eerie blueish
glow. The Devil toys with Sharky, scaring and confusing him to the point that he
can't breathe. But even this scene only lasts a few minutes.
portrayed the flat, boring, senseless character of Sharky. If this actor is not
naturally boring, then bravo!
Genest is extremely
believable in playing a loony, blind, alcoholic and Ahlin is a fat, nearsighted,
over-the-top, and thoroughly lovable Ivan.
And as for
McCullough? He really is the Devil.
The Seafarer runs
through December 28.