It strikes you only a few minutes into “The Playboy of the Western World” how absolutely authentic the presentation feels. The set, the costumes, the characters, the language, all of them working in harmony to quickly transport the audience like a time machine to early 19th-century Ireland.
After seeing a few shows at A Noise Within over the past year, I realize now that authenticity is their calling card. “Noises Off” plunged you into the ultra-realistic backstage drama of British theater. “Awake and Sing!” made you feel like a fly on the wall of a crowded Brooklyn apartment in 1935. Now John Millington Synge’s 1907 masterpiece is brought to vibrant life by paying slavish devotion to its beautiful Irish dialect.
Director Geoff Elliott even had to insert a last-minute message in the program about not getting scared off by the printed glossary of unfamiliar terms and names used throughout the play. He recommends just letting the dialogue wash over you and understanding will eventually follow. Good advice. I thought the whole experience felt like being dropped smack dab in the middle of the stage, and my eyes were riveted to the action until a saggy ending dulled the intensity.