This year, the Lisacul Players came together for their fourth annual production, a truly hilarious performance of Jimmy Keary’s Three Act Comedy, Love Knots. The Players have proven that they have a definite affinity for comedy – between the antics of Larry Casey (Tom Coppinger) and Eddie O’Donnell (Mick McCarthy), and the relatable interfering of Vera (Anna Marie Boyle), there was never a dull moment on the stage.
The play opens on a terrifically bad date – Larry’s companion Fidelma (Vanessa Anderson) is the exact sort of lady that every man fears taking out. The humour truly begins almost instantly – the classic gag of a chair being pulled out from beneath Fidelma begins a true laughter fest which spans all three acts, and it’s quickly compounded by an extremely grumpy waitress, Nuala, (Geralyn Gallagher) who embodies all that we associate with bad customer service, and the introduction of Carmel Doherty (Suzanne Roddy), a divorcee who seems to be the complete opposite of everything that Fidelma has to offer.
In Act 2, the audience are treated to some wonderful examples of dramatic irony – and it doesn’t disappoint. Vera’s ‘help’ combined with Mick’s well-intentioned reveals lead to an extremely entertaining conclusion to the play in Act 3 – the introduction of Larry’s sister Freda (Cáit Deane) and her husband Camillus (Steve Wilson) adding yet another layer of humour to the production, and the misguided attempts by Carmel to make Larry voice his feelings ensure that the audience is in stitches right to the very last second.
It is of course, important to note the work that went on behind the scenes. The set and prop design, the sound, and the lighting were all extremely impressive, and the amount of thought that went into seamless transitions between scenes was obvious – with such a small group, it could have been considered impossible, yet the Players made it look easy. This was truly a feat of organisation, management, and of course, teamwork. The sense of community between the cast and crew was undeniable.
Overall, I was delighted with the performance. The Lisacul Players are definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to theatre, leaving the audience with a production which will surely stick in the mind, and certainly with a huge amount of anticipation for next year’s performance. Topping this year’s play seems impossible – but as the Players have proven, there’s no such thing.