Monday 26 November 2012

Speech of the Devil

I thought about uploading this YouTube video in the weeks coming to Halloween. It is taken from The Seafarer, a play by Irish playwriter Conor McPherson. I have never seen it, I go to the theater way too seldom, but I purchased it and read it. I read more plays than I see them. If only it was to be on stage... But I can enjoy a play just for its text, sometimes more than an actual performance. It is the case with this play, it is so good I wonder if the stage can do it justice.

So I thought to upload the clip around Halloween, but since the play is set at Christmas, I thought it fitted better to upload it closer to Christmastime. It belongs to the tradition of Christmas supernatural stories (A Christmas Carol belongs to it too). Of course, McPherson brings a twist to it: it is set in modern times, with modern characters having to deal with their own demons. In this case, it is a literal demon: Satan himself coming in a human form to claim the soul of Sharky, the protagonist. It's a story with poker, plenty of Irish alcohol, Christmas feasts and Catholic guilt. And a Devil who is as melancholic as he is cruel, as weary as the humans he torments. This monologue, said with the right tone (it is the case here) is powerful and evocative. If there was a hell, it would feel like this.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Sounds like just the kind of cheery thing one should not watch/read on Christmas Eve. One year I went to the movies on Christmas Eve and watched Pulp Fiction. Same kind of thing.

Guillaume said...

Pulp Fiction is more of a summer movie for me. This is a brilliant play and it belongs to a tradition of Christmas ghost stories.

Anonymous said...

The Seafarer is a brilliant play.
O’Punksky’s Theatre from Sydney did a brilliant production - Directed by Maeliosa Stafford, ex Artistic Director of The Druid Theatre Company, Galway, Ireland.
Mr Lockhart was played by renowned Australian stage actor Mr William Zappa.
This play was written for the stage and for great actors. Go to the theatre and see it if it’s ever on a theatre near you. It’s an exhilarating experience.