Neil Simon's classic comedy
The Sunshine Boys
Niall Toibin & Des Keogh
With Michael James Ford, Helen Norton,
David Parnell & Grace Ann Kelly
First produced in 1972, Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys left its Dublin audience in tears on opening night. Directed by Sighle Toibin, this Brid Dukes production of the dry-witted classic lit up the Civic Theatre in Dublin. Expecting to walk out onto the streets of New York after the play, the most recent rendition of The Sunshine Boys could command any Broadway stage.
Lead by Niall Toibin and Des Keogh, the cast delivered a phenomenal performance. Toibin and Keogh played off each other with ease and their comic banter revealed the long battered relationship they shared. Tears of laughter were wept after almost every line.
Helen Norton’s role, though small, was noteworthy, characterised by sarcastic and humorous chat. The comic timing was impeccable and the unity of the cast should be commended.
The Sunshine Boys, so aptly named by Simon, brightened up the dark and wet Dublin skyline, with superb acting, production and directing. Without a doubt, this performance is one for the comedy archives.
The Stage - London
"Most of the great comedy acts are reputed not to have got on very well,“ says Niall Toibin. ”This particular duo, by the end of their run they hated each other, and for the last year that they worked together, Willie Clark never actually spoke to Al Lewis, they actually went on stage every night, did the show and then never spoke. The play picks up 11 years later, they’re old guys in their 70s, they’re long retired, and they’re asked to come out of retirement to do a television special, and the argument takes up where it left off 11 years ago. “
“A character like Willie Clark is the sort of man who needs a fight to make himself feel good, to feel alive, he’s the sort of guy who argues with everybody, he would argue with his own shadow, and Al Lewis is his long suffering partner, a quieter man, but well capable in his own way of standing up to Willie."