Review by Ceri Horner – April 2012
Following their successful 2011 production of the Beauty Queen of Leenane, the Adelaide Rep has wisely chosen to present the second instalment of Martin McDonagh's Leenane trilogy, A Skull in Connemara.
Director Kerrin White has assembled a fine cast who are successful in their intentional cliched portrayal of residents in a small Irish village where your private business is rarely private and where monotony leads to crime.
A Skull in Connemara is a black comedy centred around a ghoulish storyline. The cast do well to keep the far fetched story oddly believable and to keep the laughs coming throughout.
Peter Davies is excellent in the role of Mick Dowd appearing both troubled and menacing, leading the audience to ponder his guilt or innocence until the very end.
Jude Brennan as Mary Johnny Rafferty gives an understated performance, choosing not to milk the lines for obvious comedy but making the most of the dry sarcasm. This portrayal works well and keeps the character dignified and interesting.
Steve Parker as the wannabe detective Thomas and Mark Drury as the larrikin Mairtin are both entertaining as the 'eejit' brothers. Drury in particular is well cast and demonstrates excellent craft and comic timing.
The Irish accents are good. Davies has an accent so thick that on occasion it is difficult to understand him.
Much work has obviously gone into the creation of the skulls and the bones which look realistic and become an unusually striking feature during Act 2. The sets are simple, well lit and functional but look a little hurried and unfinished.
On opening night we were treated to an excellent local group of Irish Musicians who added the atmosphere of a little craic and a great night out!