AN IRISH CAROL by Matthew J. Keenan, directed by Mark A. Rhea | Photo: Mike Kozemchak

MD Theatre Guide: AN IRISH CAROL

Where Dickens’ Carol is straightforward and direct in its timeline, An Irish Carol’s timeline is non-linear in style and it works well.  The writer is Keegan company member and Dublin native Matthew J. Keenan. His version has been a tradition for 9 years running and should remain one for a very long time.

Director Mark A. Rhea and Assistant Director Sheri S. Herren run a tight ship and do a superb job with the production. Their direction utilizes silence as an action, and they fill the empty spaces with mystery, which at times leaves the audience breathless. Set Designer Matthew J. Keenan and Properties & Set Dressing Designer Cindy Landrum Jacobs have built a wonderful detailed back drop for the scenes which is inviting, formidable, and heart-warming. The theater is modest and intimate offering a sense of belonging, it is as if the audience members are enjoying a pint alongside the actors.

The introspection and self-reflection are magnified by taking place all in one night and on one set. The emotional changes that take place are the virtual set changes between the moments of clarity and chaos. This story is more unrefined in the outcome than the Dickens version and more realistic in the nature of reason.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well and as the curtain fell, I could hear a slight voice saying, “God Bless us, everyone,” it may have been my subconscious but pertinent none the less.

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