Irish club’s Shadow will open Aug. 10
By Robin Miller
October 29, 2012
Dan Burke thinks his wife is cheating, but how can that be possible when she lives in the middle of nowhere?
“Remember that movie The Last House on the Left?” Joshua Phillips asked. “She lives in the last house in the glen.”
“That’s why it’s called In the Shadow of the Glen,” Dave Besse added.
Well, true, with the exception that the film The Last House on the Left is an intense thriller. In the Shadow of the Glen is a drama written in 1903 by John Millington Synge.
No, drama is too heavy of a description of this story.
“It’s really a black comedy,” Besse said. “I don’t know if Synge wrote it to be a comedy, but it definitely has a lot of humor in it.”
In the Shadow of the Glen is the Baton Rouge Irish Club’s fourth annual play presentation. It will open Friday, Aug. 10, at Café Americain and run for two consecutive weekends.
Audience members will have a choice of buying a ticket to only the play or purchasing both a ticket and meal.
And this year’s production is a little different than in previous years.
“In the Shadow of the Glen is a one-act play,” Nancy Litton said.
She is co-directing the play with Jack Wilson. She also plays the lead character, Nora Burke, whose husband, Dan, suspects she is cheating.
Dale Aguillard plays Dan, who eventually throws Nora out of the house, a move that shocked audiences when the play was first performed in the early 1900s.
“You’re talking about a play that was produced in Ireland, which was heavily Catholic and divorce was not allowed,” Aguillard said.
“And women during that time didn’t have a lot of options,” Litton added. “Their best chance in life was to marry a man who had a lot of land.”
This meant security. But Dan, who is much older than Nora, doesn’t think about her welfare or the church’s opinion when he decides to kick her out.
Besse, meantime, plays the tramp to whom Nora gives food after Dale’s death, and Phillips plays the shepherd Michael Dara, who proposes to Nora after he learns that Dan has died.
“There is no mention of marrying for love in this play,” Phillips said. “People married for convenience, and it’s why the shepherd asks Nora to marry him when she tells him Dan has died. The shepherd wants to marry her for his own convenience.”
Still, there’s something odd about Dan’s death, a mystery that can be solved only by attending a performance of In the Shadow of the Glen.
This play, as pointed out by Litton, will be presented in a different format than previous plays. Litton mentioned earlier that In the Shadow of the Glen is a one-act play. The Irish Club has always presented two-act plays before this, meaning there was an intermission between the two acts.
This year, the plays will be preceded by Irish music acts. Patie O’Sullivan will perform during the first weekend, and Katie Laborde will be featured in the second.
There will be an intermission between the music and the play.
“The music will get everyone in the mood for the play,” Besse said.
There’s another new addition to this year’s performance. Café Americain has developed a menu especially for this production.
“We love the Irish Club and their programs,” said Brian Blackledge, the restaurant’s owner. “They meet here, and we want to support them.”
The menu will include appetizers for audience members who are hungry but only want to eat something light, as well as options for those wanting a full meal.
- CAST: Nancy Litton, Nora Burke; David Besse, The Tramp; Dale Aguillard, Dan Burke; Joshua Phillips, Michael Dara.
- DIRECTORS: Nancy Litton and Jack Wilson.
- MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT: Patie O’Sullivan on Aug.10-11 and Katie Laborde on Aug. 17-18.