Browsing articles tagged with "sheries Archives - I Love Saturday"
Oct 14, 2011

Peer Gynt – A Boy Living in a Man’s World

My new fave mode of transport is the Luas – it’s like my own Bat Mobile to The Northside. A five minute ride to Clerys (for ladies who don’t do BT), Easons and Foam Café. Last night I jumped out on Abbey Street and straight in the door of Sheries, the perfect pit stop before Peer Gynt at the O’Reilly Theatre. We slipped into a comfortable spot for an hour’s munch. Creamy lattes were followed by a hearty chicken curry, just like mammy makes, and a Spanish omelette with chips. I must mention the service in Sheries, not for the first time, as the guy in charge of this joint really is top of his game.

Stuffed chops, we made our way up to Belvedere College via David Norris’ stamping ground, North Great Georges Street. What a lovely place, an unspoilt oasis in a bustling part of the city – I can see why it’s most famous resident raves on so. The O’Reilly Theatre is a large auditorium inside the school and the stage was fully decked out with draped windows, chaise longue and vintage lamps for Peer Gynt. Rough Magic’s adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen classic has been re-worked by Arthur Riordan, with music by Tarab. It was a packed house for the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival.

The play opens with Peer entering what appears to be a hospital, to be stripped of his suit and put in regulation pyjamas. Soon we are introduced to his young self bantering away with his mother, the son she just can’t rely on. For Peer is the original Walter Mitty or Billy Liar, and gets carried away by his fantastic tales, riding on the crest of his imagination. Told in rhyming monologue the two bounce from one to the other as Peer soars through his grand story, his mother equally despairing and encouraging. Rory Nolan is captivating as Peer Gynt, the boy who never grew up, an escapologist extraordinaire.

We travel in rhyme and riddle through Peer’s mad world, not knowing what’s real or made up anymore than he does himself. When he runs off with a local bride to be he finds himself embroiled in the forest with trolls. This is where Rough Magic comes alive with all of the players dressed up in crazy costume and some great one liners pinging back and forth. Troll daddy, the Mountain King, is a funny creature indeed. All the while Peer’s mother and his true love endeavour to save him – from himself mostly! The action on stage is non stop with infectious energy and especially brilliant performances from Karen Ardiff, Sarah Greene and Arthur Riordan himself.

Torn between his alter egos of good and evil, white and black angels who shadow him throughout, Peer navigates himself in and out of trouble with some great highs and lows. Eventually we encounter him as an older man, having left home after his mother’s death, and conquered Africa. Or so we are to believe. With pomp and swagger he holds court until he is reminded of his sad lack of legacy. But yet again instead of facing the truth Peer transports to another world, this time ancient Egypt where he faces all manner of puzzles and familiar faces. Is his past coming back to haunt him? Peer must face the consequences of his misspent days.

The one thing Peer can’t escape is himself and when death is all around him he must reconcile his own judgement day. Aspects of Peer’s life swirl around his now jaded self. Regrets. Denials. The moral of the story is that it’s better to have been noble or villain but not on the fence as Peer, who now protests otherwise. He is a man who’s never surrendered true love, given without receiving or made his mother proud. What is his final fate? Although a thoroughly enjoyable romp, I couldn’t help but feel that Rough Magic might have indulged Peer Gynt time wise, as it spanned over three hours. A swifter conclusion might have added rather than taken away, but as a friend pointed out, how the hell do you edit Ibsen?

Oct 6, 2011

Sheries Café Bar – The Diner With a Difference

I hooked up with a friend – Sheries is lined with two seaters that are perfect for dinner a deux – before the flicks at The Savoy. After a good study of the menu, over a white wine and latte, we opted for starters of smoked salmon carpaccio and salmon bruchetta. Both turned up tasty fish with fresh crispy salad and fluffy bread.

Sheries stand out point is the service – the friendly gaffer runs a tight ship and standards are high without losing the personal touch. Our lovely waitress brought me a chicken Caesar salad and my mate a goat’s cheese salad, presented in large shallow bowls they invited us to tuck in.

Being something of a Caesar connoisseur, it’s a dish that’s easy to get wrong depending on sauce, parmesan and alien ingredients, but Sheries version is spot on. Desserts are almost sold out due to the roaring trade on tea and cake so we get ice cream and pecan pie. Now for a snooze in the cinema… /Sheries Cafe Bar, 3 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1