Two Pints Review by Guest Blogger Nina Mihcioglu
For a two-hour play, staging only two characters that engage in conversation, Roddy Doyle’s, Two Pints is genius and enthralling. It laments genuine, emotional, hilarious, thought provoking, everyday conversation between two middle aged men, yet the spontaneity of their topics are enchanting.
The play is set in a typical Irish pub, everything displayed and on set, is what you would find in the smallest of village pubs that play “home” to many pub goers. The Live’s cabaret seating ensures that the audience become part of the play and the fact that Raymond (the landlord) will serve you a pint of Guinness, makes the experience all the more real.
Two Pints slots into Irish culture effortlessly; the actors Liam Carney and Philip Judge depict a genuine friendship. The play contains strong language and language that “your Grandma” would probably “gawp at” but because of the context, it almost becomes acceptable.
Both character one and two take us on a journey of many wonderful conversations whereby the audience would find themselves in hysterics in one breath yet spookily quiet in another. The actor’s relationship engages the audience throughout and the quality of conversation is individual, almost borderline and not acceptable at times, but it provokes a real buzz and atmosphere amongst the audience. It is amazing how two characters don’t move yet the only character who has any movement is Raymond but then Raymond never speaks; that in itself just shows how shrewd and cunning Roddy Doyle is at writing.
During the two intervals, it didn’t feel like an interval was taking place. As part of the audience in the cabaret, I WAS in the pub. I enjoyed being part of the play, as I eagerly awaited my turn at the bar having ordered half a pint of Guinness; what a great idea and novelty! The controversy and topics which were covered in the play, sparked genuine discussion amongst the audience. The play is seldom simple but it is genius. It is amazing how the topic of Nigella, vegetables, religion and the afterlife generated a variety of discussions during an interval.
After speaking to one audience member, it was difficult at some points to hear character two when positioned with their back to the audience however I guess pub conversation is not always easy to hear. It is a risk to have your actors backs to the audience but it ensured that the audience listened attentively.
The skilled actors managed an extraordinary conviction of two authentic Irish men, long term friends, in a traditional Irish pub, depicting real life scenarios with great humour, copious amounts of laughter mixed with sensitivity and discussions of deep rooted and real-life tragedy.
This is definitely one to watch and more so experience, I haven’t seen a play quite like it.
If there is one message that this play sends home, it is that life is too short and that we should enjoy laughter, be happy and be grateful for the simple things.
Therefore on that note…“Ave Maria”