It’s time to put on make up, it’s time to light the lights…

“Anyone can Rob a Bank” (Thomas Coffey) performed by Lisacul Players First Night Weds 4th April 2018.

The Lisacul Players have nailed it again. A capacity crowd thoroughly enjoyed a superb night of hilarious theatre based around this story of our three hapless heroes idly planning an imaginary bank robbery and then finding out that the plan was followed to the letter by, as they say, “person or persons unknown” making them the prime suspects.

The excellent programme details the changes in cast vs. last year’s line-up, with Geralyn Gallagher, Suzanne Roddy, Derek Marren and Mike McCarthy remaining from last year’s team, Claire Corrigan and Tom Coppinger making a welcome return to the stage plus two new cast members, Matt Giblin and Steve Wilson.

Tom, Derek and Mike play the would-be robbers who SPOILERS then become would-be un-robbers. Tom (Badger Grey) is excellent as the brains behind the outfit and has some very funny scenes as things unravel. His two helpers are brilliantly inept – you will love ‘Windy’ O’ConneLl (Mike McCarthy) as his digestion self-destructs under pressure and Jerreen Grey (Derek) falling apart as the action heats up.

The ever-reliable Geralyn Gallagher plays Sarah, delightful as the absent-minded wife of Badger as she proceeds through the acts losing and/or finding things, volunteering unhelpful information, failing to remember answers when it would help or sitting to one side leafing through a mag and chopping in little bomb-shells. I heard someone say she was channelling TV’s Mrs Brown but I prefer to say she has a style uniquely her own. Genius.

Suzanne Roddy is inspired as Noreen, dressed in the height of late 50s/early 60s fashion, switching between being ‘love interest’ to the local Garda Sergeant and flirting with the new ‘businessman’ lodger, while finding music to dance to where she can.

New cast member Matt Giblin plays the very convincing and imposing Garda. He’s a big broad lad and had all the cast guiltily searching their consciences when he first donned the uniform. He brings in the superb young trainee boxer, Katie, whom he is mentoring and some glorious scenes happen between them where Katie (Claire Corrigan) has to knock him about a bit. The audience prays that he (Matt) has actually told her to hit him “that hard”. She doesn’t pull them!

Last but not least deserving of high praise is new man Steve Wilson, our lodger and alleged expert scout for the American Syndicate. Again, no spoilers, but he is really good as he gets up to who knows what behind the scenes and ends up with a dose of Katie’s boxing glove action to settle his hash.

The performance is extremely good throughout and the audience loved it. As the programme says, “Sit back and enjoy the mayhem”.

Of course, the play would be nothing without all the hard work by the rest of the team, from Elizabeth Care nailing it as debut Producer, Vanessa Anderson and Michael Muldoon in the “crow’s nest” on lights and sound, Ann Giblin on stage management and continuity, Mary Maxwell slapping on the grease-paint, Cáit Deane managing ‘front of house’ and Pat Carty out front too. Yes, I was there too, with Pat Roddy on curtains and video-ing. The magnificent set and stage were down to Michael O’Neill, Tom Regan and Pat Roddy (with, no doubt, input from John Greene); look for the fake ‘range’ made from the real top and front of a scrap one, fitted to a wooden carcass and set in a brick alcove, plus the very convincing old dresser “for the Delft”.

Thanks as well to all the many who contributed props and costumes, to John Greene and the CE Scheme team who worked so hard, to the helpful sellers of raffle tickets, anyone who donated spot prizes and local outlets who sell tickets. Also to you, the audience, who come to enjoy and love the results. Finally, to the Brightsparks Montessori Pre-School who allow us to commandeer their space for the 2 weeks.

Please do go if you can still get hold of a ticket. You will not be disappointed.

Review by Matt Care