The ridged roof top of a semi-detached house, on Halloween in a small town in West Ireland is where If we got some more cocaine I could show you how I love you is set. The piece is a 75 minute – gay Irish two-hander penned by John O’Donovan. It’s the first play selected for performance through the Old Red Lion’s new literary department headed by Clive Judd.
The piece opens in darkness to the sound of police sirens as our two protagonists, Casey [ Ammar Duffus] and Mikey [ Alan Mahon] enter the scene clambering on to a roof top dressed in a balaclava and clown mask. The piece is an instant hit! Within minutes you warm to these two loveable rogues and are laughing along with them as they hide from the police below – laughing and joking about their successful night’s robbing of the local petrol station and the house of which they are hiding on the roof!
The piece is very funny, the script is tight and Alan Mahon really brings the character Mikey alive. Duffus is also a solid performer although I think because this is only the 2nd public performance of the piece he wasn’t as familiar with some of his text I would have liked. I’m positive this will develop throughout the run and he will be up at the same level as Mahon.
The piece is a heartfelt, comedic production that produces continuous belly-laughs with a serious message about the different treatment of gay men in small towns and bigger cities like Dublin and London as its backdrop. The piece examines the legality of gay marriage by public vote last year in Ireland and the “defences and residual stigma associated with such a dramatic change in public perception in a short space of time”. This is highlighted beautifully in a scene where Mikey tells Casey that he and his boyfriend Paul were beat up when they were 18 by the same people who were now “working in the newspaper and will probably place the announcement” [of Paul’s engagement]… and another guy whose parents own the local florist will probably do the flowers for their wedding.
When the production is playing for laughs the piece works very well and the audience laughs loudly along with the production, however it does slightly lose momentum when it comes to the more serious parts of the play where we are hearing about Casey’s relationship with his drug-dealing step-father. Again, I’m sure over time this will improve and it is just settling in, after all last night was only the 2nd public performance of the #CocainePlay.
All in all, I really enjoyed this production and would be keen to return later in the run as I know it has all the ingredients to make a great production, a writer who definitely needs to be on my radar and a director who I’d like to see more productions by.
Review by Faye Stockley
IF WE GOT SOME MORE COCAINE I COULD SHOW YOU HOW I LOVE YOU
BY JOHN O’DONOVAN
DIRECTED BY THOMAS MARTIN
“A town a ten thousand people. What parade do we get? I’m a parade. I’m a one-man parade.”
Halloween. A small town in the west of Ireland. There’s a party to get to and Mikey and Casey have everything they need… Booze. Cash. Drugs. Each other.
The only problem is they’re stuck. Stuck on a roof. Stuck together. And as they wait for the Guards to stop circling the house, they find out there are some truths you just can’t climb down from. A raucous and unlikely romantic drama, twenty feet up.
If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You is the debut play by John O’Donovan. Presented by The Old Red Lion, Samuel Julyan & Will Bourdillon.
Performed by Ammar Duffus and Alan Mahon Directed by Thomas Martin
Written by John O’Donovan Designed by Georgia de Grey
Lighting Designed by Derek Anderson Sound Designed by Jon McLeod
30th August – 24th September 2016