Monday 22 April 2013

Bittersweety Bye-Bye

I really need to get some pun lessons from Declan Burke...

But here, that's the end of The Sweety Bottle's regional tour. I'm kind of stuck for words, to be honest. It's been emotional, you know? Luckily, Terrence Blaine has plenty to say in his review. It starts out like this:

"When Joe Brennan was a boy growing up in Belfast, his grandfather took over a confectionery store in the Lower Falls area, and installed an illegal drinking club in it. Things that happened in the so-called 'Sweety Bottle', and the characters who drank there, swiftly became the stuff of family legend, and were much debated and discussed over the Brennan family dinner table. Forty years later, in collaboration with his son Gerard, Joe has woven a selection of Sweety Bottle stories together in a two-act play, revisiting a place now gone (levelled in the interests of urban redevelopment), but certainly not forgotten in the memories of those who grew up in the West Belfast area.
Good as the stories are (the audience is in a virtually constant state of hilarity), the danger is that The Sweety Bottle could easily have ended up seeming merely episodic, a string of unconnected anecdotes with no particular reason for putting them on a stage together.
The Brennans have, however, managed their raw material much more cleverly than that: from an early stage the narrative is bound together by lugubrious references to a certain Grinder McVeigh, who has torched a neighbouring shebeen for barring him..." 
Read the rest here.


seana graham said...

That sure looks fun, Gerard. I bet it would have a good run here if some enterprising producer got it going.

Gerard Brennan said...

The Sweety Bottle in California... Now there's something to shoot for.

Cheers, Seana.