Theatre Reviews: Yes, Must Be Nice

Jimmy Doyle

A play that transports us back to the ups and downs of the referendum, and the experience of growing up as a gay Irish American, two must-see reviews from the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.



Rating *****

Collette Cullen’s new play, Yes, captures the tears, the anger, the laughter, and the camaraderie of the emotional journey to the referendum, effectively transporting us back to the time when Ireland became the first country to put Marriage Equality to a popular vote. It follows four very different characters on the referendum campaign: a middle-aged gay rights activist, a passionate Mother canvassing for her gay son, a young lesbian in a relationship she perpetually frets about, and a closeted young gay man from the country.

It would be impossible to single one performance out of this ensemble, who are all very well served by Cullen’s tightly wound script. The play cleverly weaves the four character’s backstories with the (not always positive) experience of canvassing on Dublin’s North Side, and Cullen succeeds in creating an uplifting, clever and funny piece that has real heart. Seraina Vogel

Yes continues at the Pearse Centre Theatre, until May 14 at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm. Tickets available here or on the door.


Must Be Nice

Rating *****

Jimmy Doyle is an Irish-American, but really, in his heart he feels more Irish. Growing up in a Irish-American neighbourhood in Chicago, he has dreams of uniting Ireland aged five and religiously goes to mass. In this extremely funny one man show, produced by Irish singer Brian Kennedy, Doyle introduces his parents and siblings, and shares stories about them growing up in America, exploring the connection with his Irish heritage and his love for the home country.

Doyle is a fantastic teller of tales, captivating the audience with his anecdotes not just about his family, but also in a charmingly self-deprecating way, about himself. If occasionally his notion about what Ireland is now can seem a bit dated, this reflects his experience of growing up in a community where inevitably Ireland was to some extent frozen in time by people forced to leave it.

The performance flows with ease and is spiked with humour and pathos, making a connection with the audience that seems as effortless as it is immediate. A must-see of the festival. Seriana Vogel

‘Must Be Nice’ continues at the Pearse Centre Theatre, until May 14 at 9pm, with a matinee on Saturday 14 at 4pm. Tickets available here or on the door.

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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