A play about how the banking crisis cost the Irish taxpayer €64 billion (an outright tragedy in other words!) will take to the stage at The Lime Tree Theatre this Sunday night (November 17).
Guaranteed! Was written by Colin Murphy and will be directed by Conall Morrison. Following the sold out and critically acclaimed run earlier this year, the play by Fishamble: The New Play Company is now back on tour by popular demand.
Anyone trying to sift through the massive amount of material on the subject might quickly become overwhelmed and disheartened but Mr Murphy aims to portray all the main events surrounding the crisis using actors and decipher it all using active audience engagement.
In his own words: “People want accountability, and they’re afraid they’re not going to get it. But what if accountability was something they could contribute to themselves? Picture a packed “town hall” meeting in a local venue – say the Lime Tree Theatre. Fed up waiting for a public banking inquiry, a group of locals has decided to hold one themselves.”
“Wait!” someone shouts. “Let’s stage it! With a group of actors. Maybe it’ll make more sense if we can see it happening before us. We can start at the beginning and make scene out of all the important moments. Maybe then it’ll make sense.”
“In Guaranteed!, the play I have written about the bank guarantee, we’ve tried to short-cut this approach. The play is based on my investigation of the banking crisis and aims to tell that story as clearly and concisely as possible.”
The first two acts display key events in the timeline and “like any good tragedy, we know what’s going to happen. The drama lies in seeing the characters trying to escape or ignore that fate, even as their actions bring it closer”.
In the third act, a small panel comes on stage to discuss and debate with the audience. It will be chaired by Dr Stephen Kinsella, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick; Dr Donal Donovan, former Deputy Director at the IMF and Adjunct Professor at UL; Dr Niamh Hourigan, Senior Lecturer and Head of Graduate Studies in Sociology at University College Cork and Donal O’Donovan, Business Reporter with the Irish Independent.
As Mr Murphy added: “This is a key part of this “citizens’ inquiry”. In the play, the actors took the place of witnesses, telling us what happened. Now the audience takes the place of the jury. And the panel take the place of the barristers, helping the audience sift through the evidence.”
“It won’t get us back any of the €64 billion. But it may just help people understand how that decision was made. (It may, surprisingly, make people laugh along the way.) And that may provoke them to lean in, rather than lean out – to help make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”
Lend Me A Tenor
The Lime Tree is also showing the College Players Theatre Company production of Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig nightly until Saturday (November 16). It is directed by Joan McGarry and starsDave Griffin, Padhraic Hastings, Brian McNamara, Nigel Dugdale, Jean McGlynn, Sinead O’Sullivan, Beena Day and Rebecca Murphy.
The plot is: “The world famous tenor, Tito “Il Stupendo” Morelli, is to appear for one night only as Otello at the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, he passes out and is believed dead. The Company’s assistant Max dons the Otello costume and fools the audience into thinking he’s Il Stupendo, but Morelli comes to and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with Il Stupendo. This madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter.”
For more information on both productions, see www.limetreetheatre.ie.