HURL by Charlie O’Neill, Barrabas Theatre Company, Black Box Theatre, Galway
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Lonergan, Patrick. (2003). HURL by Charlie O’Neill, Barrabas Theatre Company, Black Box Theatre, Galway. Irish Theatre Magazine, Winter 4 (17).
Minutes into Hurl, Charlie O’Neil’s play about a multi-ethnic hurling team, a ripple of discomfort sweeps through the audience. On stage, a man and woman have entered the house of an alcoholic ex-priest; understandably, the place looks like a pigsty. “Irish men!” declares the woman, with gentle disdain. The line generates laughter, but there’s also audible disapproval, as if something inappropriate has been said. This is because the speaker is black, and from abroad. And some audience members clearly take offence at her character’s delivery of a line that would have passed without comment if uttered by a white Irish woman.
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