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MUNSTER EXPRESS ARTS & THEATRE REVIEWS – LIAM MURPHY


MEMORIES OF CLANCY BROTHERS REVIEW                  Clancy's Kitchen

In the Watergate Theatre Kilkenny you felt at home in Clancy's Kitchen, as three musicians walked onto a homely kitchen set, dominated by a table, and Roisin Clancy, daughter of Bobby Clancy, of the famous Clancy Brothers, carried out a teapot and poured out a tasty brew of memories. Not only did it recreate a family scene in Carrick-on-Suir, and the many memories of the Clancy Brothers, but it plugged into the collective family memories as audience members came to remember the happy and sometimes sad occasions at the tables and kitchens of our lives.

What unfolded was the life and soul of growing up and singing and sharing, and it touched an essential, universal, emotion that was powerful, sentimental and memorable.  Roisin Clancy sang and performed a beautiful, Molly Bloom Soliloquy from Ulysses and her keyboard/musician partner, Ryland Teifi took the audience on a journey to Wales, and the resonance of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. Donal Clancy, son of Liam, played beautiful guitar and sang like he was channelling his father, and continuing a living tradition, that remembered Tommy Makem and the joy of singing. His 'Duelling Banjos' tune with Evan Grace on banjo was a highlight. Evan was memorable with a Flanagan Brothers sequence and a shut-eyed, John Lennon song 'In My Life' (that Sean Connery once recorded). A young dancer, Anna Leonard, dropped by the kitchen and rattled the floor as the heart soared. I found myself whistling into the interval with a lovely 'Whistling Gypsy'.

In the second half, we were around a table in An Rinn, and there was the mystical of Yeats 'Lake Isle Of Innisfree' and the mythic 'Buachaill On Eirne', and the sessions of 'The Moonshiner' (I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home), and the folk memory of the 'rambling houses'.

Ryland Teifi's 'Deise Days' was beautiful as was Shane MacGowan's 'The Broad Majestic Shannon'. Roisin's sister Aoife, from North Carolina and brother, Finbarr (The High Kings) joined the others in the kitchen, and it was a rousing occasion with a standing ovation and the almost sacramental offering to 'absent friends' with 'The Parting Glass'.

Clancy's Kitchen will be in the Theatre Royal on Saturday 20th July.

Not only did it recreate a family scene in Carrick-on-Suir, and the many memories of the Clancy Brothers, but it plugged into the collective family memories as audience members came to remember the happy and sometimes sad occasions at the tables and kitchens of our lives.

What unfolded was the life and soul of growing up and singing and sharing, and it touched an essential, universal, emotion that was powerful, sentimental and memorable.

 

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