by Paula Citron
Lady Augusta Gregory is acknowledged as the first lady of Irish playwrights who helped found the famed Abbey Theatre.
The Shaw Festival is mounting Lady Gregory’s two most famous one-acters under the umbrella title The Kiltartan Comedies as its lunch time fare. The plays are graced by articulate direction by Michelle Fevrier, and an interesting minimal set by Deeter Schurig. Kiltartan is the barony where both Lady Gregory and the people she wrote about lived.
The Rising of the Moon presents an encounter by an Irish constable and an IRA man on the run. Lady Gregory was an Irish nationalist and the play conveys that sympathy with Douglas E. Hughes and Patrick McManus giving fine performances.
Spreading the News is a satiric look at how gossip spreads and grows in a small Irish village, and the large cast is exemplary of the excellent work done by the Shaw acting ensemble.
The Kiltartan Comedies continues until Oct. 6.
From the Court House Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.