Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Ghost of Molly Malone 

The legendary Irish heroine deserves better than this ambitious but uninvolving tale of her life

Wednesday, Jul 17 2002
Comments
During intermission on the first night of this new play a few audience members on the sidewalk broke out in a not-so-tuneful version of the old ballad -- "She wheeled her wheelbarrow! Through streets broad and narrow!" -- about the legendary Irish fishmonger Molly Malone. It was a high point of the show. Aoise Stratford's script gives us Molly as an ageless bag lady pushing a shopping cart through the streets of modern Chicago, watching a homeless girl named Lois who reminds her of herself and remembering scenes from her own gritty, harrowing life in the 1650s. The concept is ambitious, but it has no spontaneity (unlike the song on the sidewalk) and no suspense: The actors drift from scene to scene. Michael Symonds does compelling work as an English street merchant and the Irish husband of Molly, who dies fighting Cromwell's invasion of Dublin. Arwen Anderson is also funny as the younger Molly (spirited and gutter-poor, hating the English), and Treacy Corrigan gives a handful of urgently felt performances in smaller, scrappier roles. But the play overall feels alive only when it concentrates on Molly's history. The Chicago scenes are clichéd, and Stratford's connect-the-dots game is less interesting than the plain story of the widow Malone.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"