1999...Gay Byrne hosts his last Late Late Show after 37 years...The euro currency is introduced...The electorate of the entire island of Ireland go to the polls to vote on the Good Friday Agreement... And Bewley’s Café Theatre opens its doors for the first time, as two lovable losers from the outer margins of Dublin society grapple with their personal demons and confront what they regard as the major preoccupations of the new millennium...
Christy and Dominic are living on the edge of society – and at times, sanity – in a Dublin that is rapidly changing around them. They are the generation that grew up in the 80s, without a pathway to University, or expectation of better things to come; for whom unemployment was a norm, and the arrival of the Celtic Tiger was a threat to their whole way of life. The transformation of their town into a prosperous, cosmopolitan, and perhaps, less forgiving place, would push the likes of them – the dreamers, the chancers, the misfit characters of dear auld Dublin – further and further to the fringe of society.
The play offers us these two young men who are already relics of a bygone age, before mobile phones, cappuccinos, and self-help books hit these shores. A decade on, they appear as antiques, reminding us how much has changed with economic progress – and as the fortunes of the nation decline, the image of Christy and Dominic, ghosts smoking away in the corner of Bewley’s, comes back to haunt us once again.
Christy and Dominic leap off the page and into life: vital, hopeful - in the gutter, but ever looking up at the stars. Their innocence, childlike enthusiasm, and at times, a pathetic inability to cope with the very basics of adult life, make them sympathetic symbols of a particular kind of Irishness: the romantic Ireland, dead and gone.
Christopher Samuel Carroll
Bewley's Café Theatre
21 September - 10 October 2009
"A neatly crafted meditation on the creative process masquerading as a broad comedy... a quirky tale with just enough of nothing to make it worthwhile."