Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Seafarer

The theater season is back with the start of the spring. The seafarer is a story about Sharky, an Irish chauffeur who now lives with his alcoholic blind brother and the scene is set on Christmas eve.  The story starts off very slowly with an excessively long dialogue between the brothers and their neighbor. It seemed that the dialogue had no greater purpose other than revealing the characters of the people and they would have done well to cut it into half. I was so bored that  I was ready to leave midway during the play. However, things suddenly pick up when Richard's friend turns up at their house along with a mysterious Lockhart for a card game, who reminds Sharky about a night 25 years ago.
As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Sharky was arrested 25 years ago, and won his freedom by winning a card game in prison with Lockhart. Lockhart had a different form and face then, for he (it can be surmised) was just Satan in disguise.While Sharky won his freedom, it was on the condition that he would have to give his soul to Lockhart  if he lost in any future game. Sharky was forced to play this card game to save his soul.
The drama was quite exciting overall, and had a great classic ending with a hint of surprise, however the downfall of the play was the dialogues. It was too long winded in parts, and were sometimes redundant. On a personal note, I found it a little distasteful that all the characters were drunk and unclean and swearing all day even though it was the morning of Christmas eve.However, I happened to watch the play with my friend who is part Irish and she told me after the play that it was very reminiscent of her part family who were always so rugged and drunk albeit being good people at heart. So, I am forced to concede that was authenticity on the playwright's part, no matter how distasteful. She also noted that Lockhart did not have a convincing Irish accent at all. I however thought that he was a good actor.
Overall, it was worth watching once, but it should have been better executed.
Spoiler Alert:
 I am a sucker for happy endings, and it always makes me feel good to know that life throws second and third chances at you. I'd rather witness an unbelievable happy ending than see a repentant man give his soul to the devil.

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