The Seafarer by Conor McPherson


Hurry! See The Seafarer. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a play this good. Granted, I don’t see a lot of plays but perhaps I might see more now, thanks to this one.

Set in Ireland, the protagonist Sharky returns to take care for his blind older brother. It’s Christmas Eve and the two are in the house along with two other friends to drink and play poker. One friend brings a guest from Sharky’s past, Mr. Lockheart, who turns out to be the devil himself coming to collect Sharky’s soul. Sharky has to win the game in order to save it.

Tension replaced laughter in moments, only to revert back once again to laughter. This cycle continued throughout the play. MoJo was so gripped that he found his hands shaking by the end. It really was that good. The writing was excellent but the acting was even better…if you can imagine something better than excellent.

Conleth Hill, Jim Norton, David Morse, Ciarán Hinds and Sean Mahon
The actors of Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer (l-r)
Photo by Joan Marcus

We walked out of the theater absolutely delighted by the play’s ability to draw us in and forget about the world for 2.5 hours. As we walked back to the subway, I felt as if I jumped the space-time continuum. I felt disoriented as my eyes tried to adjust to the bright lights of Times Square compared to the drab, dreary house in Ireland I had just been in a few minutes earlier.

For the next hour, MoJo and I discussed the play, compared notes, and continued to feel the endorphin-like effects of having just undergone a fantastic experience. I was so completely moved that my dreams last night were racy and tumultuous. The content of my dreams, I cannot remember. I awoke feeling like my brain ran some kind of marathon…it was spinning and moving so quickly I couldn’t hold a moment of it in my hand.

My main reason to see the play centers solely on watching Ciarán Hinds act. Captivated by his portrayal of Frederick Wentworth in the 1995 BBC TV-film version of Jane Austen‘s Persuasion (my absolute favorite of Jane Austen’s novels) he got on my list of “must-see-actors-any-chance-I-get”. Tonight, I was not disappointed by his performance and his name remains planted firmly on my list.

Now if Hinds & Alan Rickman can be in a play together, it would be a dream come true! I would be the first in line to get tickets. 🙂

We ate dinner at Etcetera Etctera and the meal was nothing to write home about. Rarely, do we order dessert but the hazelnut ice cream doused with amaretto and espresso caught our eyes. So we ordered it and we were delighted by the sweetness of the ice cream juxtaposed against the bitterness of the espresso. Why have coffee and dessert separately when you can have it together?! Delicious! And easy enough to make at home.

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