GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 4, 2013

Fishtown Players bring Irish play to Cape Ann

Fishtown Players present Tony-nominated 'Lonesome West'

By Gail McCarthy
Staff Writer

---- — The Fishtown Players community theater troupe is bringing a Tony Award-nominated play rooted in Ireland to Gloucester.

“The Lonesome West,” a dark comedy of brotherly love set in Ireland, is written by the award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh, also known for his screenwriting and his work as a movie director, and will be presented by the Fishtown Players in a two-weekend run beginning tonight at Gorton’s Theatre, the regular home of Gloucester Stage Company.

“All great Irish literature has more than a bit of poetry in it and so does this one,” said Michael McNamara, a founder of Fishtown Players. “If you’re looking for a good laugh, this is the place you want to be. A lot of hypocrises are pointed out. The play is rich with very entertaining characters -- and the language is mature.”

The play features local actors Kelly Newman, Jay DiPrima, Rory O’Connor and McNamara. According to the synopsis, the story is set amongst the belligerent neighbors of the western Ireland town of Leenane. An idealistic young priest stumbles into a simmering conflict between brothers Coleman and Valene Connor in a cycle of petty grudges. Father Welsh eventually puts his life on the line in an attempt to reconcile the feuding siblings.

Both McNamara and O’Conner went to the see the show in the Boston area on a number of occasions. DiPrima, an O’Maley Middle School teacher, plays the role of the priest.

“The play has the element of surprise — like all great art,” said McNamara.

Other works by McDonagh include the film “In Bruges,” starring Colin Farrell, the film “Seven Pyschopaths” and an Oscar-winning short titled “Six Shooter.”

O’Connor, who comes from Dublin, and who has lived on Cape Ann the past 12 years, said he is eager to do this play.

“It’s a great play. I loved the humor in it and it has a certain amount of darkness in it as well,” he said. “The dialogue is very sharp and it’s very witty. What I love about the play is the idioms and the way they position words and that’s where the fun is. The idioms become a part of this play. People would say something one way but the way the Irish say it is different.”

Shows will be held at the Gorton Theater at 267 East Main St. in Gloucester.

Tonight’s show at 7:30 p.m. is pay-as-you-can. Show times are Friday and Saturday, April 5,6,12,13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 7 and April 14 at 3 p.m.

Also, the show set for Thursday, April 13 is a benefit for the Gloucester Writers Center at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are $18, and $15 for seniors, and $10 for students. For more information, visit www.fishtownplayers.com.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.

If you go ... Who: The Fishtown Players community theater troupe. What: "The Lonesome West." When: Tonight through Sunday, then April 12-14. Where: Gorton's Theatre (Gloucester Stage Company), East Main Street, East Gloucester.