Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director; produced playwright (21 plays). Scripts pub. Currency Press. She worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Coordinator of Prof. Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read her reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Howie The Rookie , Red Stitch, March 18, 2011
Howie The Rookie
HOWIE THE ROOKIE, Red Stitch Theatre, until April 16.
THE streets of Dublin are dank and dangerous and the characters violent, unpredictable and hilarious in Mark O'Rowe's award-winning play Howie The Rookie.
The language is Irish vernacular, lingering between offensive vulgarity, comedy and lyricism. O’Rowe’s writing is thrilling and inspired, using language to conjure a vivid, poverty-stricken, urban landscape and a parade of eccentric characters.
Director, Greg Carroll, and his two actors (Paul Ashcroft, Tim Ross) make this a fine, compelling and challenging production, with muscular, barely-contained physicality and poignant performances.
Two tough, young men, members of Dublin’s underclass, shock, horrify and entertain us with their gritty stories that tilt between comedy and tragedy. Each is alone on stage.
Ashcroft gives a powerfully physical and sympathetic portrayal of The Howie Lee, a street thug in pursuit of a fight, booze and girls. His wild violent rampage turns into a family tragedy.
Ross plays The Rookie Lee, a handsome rogue who finds himself pursued by both Howie and his pals and a Dublin crim. The lives of Howie and the Rookie collide over two nights in perilous ways that neither could predict. The play is intense, brutal and not for the timid – but you must see it.
Stars: * * * * 1/2
Review: Howie The Rookie, Red Stitch Actors Theatre