Lisa Lambe as Oonagh in Jimmy's Hall, running at the Lime Tree until Saturday Picture: Ros Kavanagh
THERE has been a glowing reaction to the Abbey Theatre’s production of Jimmy’s Hall, running at Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre this week.
The story of Leitrim farmer Jimmy Gralton, the only Irishman deported from his own country, is proving the “highlight” of the Lime Tree’s year.
It is a quite fascinating story, steeped in the history of repressed 1930s Ireland and the man who challenged the accepted order – and suffered the consequences. It is hard hitting and poignant, yet there is laughter and joy and quite beautiful musicianship from a talented cast in a stunning show, while director Graham McLaren’s staging is conceived brilliantly.
Irish trad mixes with Van Morrisson’s Moondance, while Liam Clancy’s Parting Glass never sounded so haunting. Get there early too, as the cast warms up the crowd with Springsteen, the Pogues and Whitney Houston.
#JimmysHall opens in the @LimeTreeTheatre tonight! This brilliant cast kicked off the tour in studio, recording Bean Pháidín led by Michael John McCarthy.— Abbey Theatre (@AbbeyTheatre) July 17, 2018
We can't wait to see you #OutOfTheAbbey! @THTG @CorkOperaHouse @FriendsFirst Info: https://t.co/x3AwW7MeTy pic.twitter.com/CYmM8F0jiJ
The Abbey is back at the Lime Tree for a fourth stint since the theatre opened to kick off its summer tour of Jimmy’s Hall, which it ran in Dublin last summer. For the Lime Tree and venue boss Louise Donlon, it is simply “the highlight of our year”.
“The actors are all top notch, the musicians, the production values are superb, you know going into an Abbey show it will be beautifully made, it will look fantastic,” she says.
“I was at it in the Abbey last year and literally people jumped to their feet. It is a great story and really interesting and the way they have adapted it, lots of music, lots of Irish dancing with a contemporary, wild feel to it.”
Jimmy’s Hall features the central character railing against the establishment via his dancehall, and the stage version, adapted from the Ken Loach film and Paul Laverty's script, is bursting with song and music, dancing and plenty of real life trials of the heart.
Sarah Lynch, who hails from Caherdavin and is now the Abbey’s touring producer, said it was “pure entertainment”.
“The voice and harmonies are superb, the music is amazing, and it is a bloody good story, so you really do tick all the boxes. When we opened it, people were dancing in the aisles - and crying,” she laughed.
Jimmys Hall is officially open! Thanks to all @LimeTreeTheatre and @mydolans for all tonight. #JimmysHall Thinking of our fellow Abbey company opening in Dublin #ComeOnHome @AbbeyTheatre pic.twitter.com/gzh0XrH7UU— sarah lynch (@thelynchky) July 17, 2018
The reaction on social media since the show opened on Saturday has been immensely positive. It runs at the Lime Tree until this Saturday, see www.limetreetheatre.ie.
7 a.m. hotel room view. Had an absolute blast in @LimeTreeTheatre with the phenomenal #JimmysHall Lads the craic was too much and what a show! Congrats all on a fab Opening Night #OutOfTheAbbey pic.twitter.com/kk2PEOeTU8— Paddy Jo Malpas (@paddy_jo) July 18, 2018
I have to say #Jimmyshall really delivered for me. Second half did not disappoint. The powerful female voices and talented musicians with the clever choreography really brought the story to life. A must see while it’s in town @LimeTreeTheatre @AbbeyTheatre— Carol Byrne (@Carlsburn) July 17, 2018
Standing ovation last night for #JimmysHall @LimeTreeTheatre runs until Saturday 21st July. Jimmy’s Hall tells the true story of Leitrim farmer Jimmy Gralton, the only Irishman deported from his own country. His crime was to build a dance hall! @AbbeyTheatre @Limerick_ie pic.twitter.com/zF30x1T81C— Limerick : Culture : Arts (@LimerickArts) July 17, 2018
The magical power of music & how it changed a small community in Leitrim in their efforts for creative freedom. Jimmy's Hall, the true story of Jimmy Gralton, the only Irishman deported from his own country. His crime was to build a dance hall. Runs to 21st July @LimeTreeTheatre pic.twitter.com/1B77TCt48q— Sheila Deegan (@SheilaDegan) July 17, 2018
Hugh energy music & drama with abundant talent on stage tonight @LimeTreeTheatre courtesy of @AbbeyTheatre, with #JimmysHall the story of Leitrim's Jimmy Gralton. "We all need a version of Jimmy's hall in our lives". Do try catch this unique theatrical experience! Closes Sat.— Dave_Griffin (@Dave_Griffin) July 16, 2018
Saw the preview on Saturday and it was hard hitting and eye opening. What a sad time in our history. The singers and musicians were fantastic. A must-see this week in Limerick!— Linda Murphy (@lindarmurphy) July 16, 2018
Wonderful evening of entertainment @LimeTreeTheatre #JimmysHall @AbbeyTheatre ☘️Beautiful performances by multitalented ensemble & innovative direction by @MCLAREN_G #irish #culture #history #music #dance #tradition #theatre pic.twitter.com/ONSbcThOWs— ELAINE O' DWYER (@ElaineTheActor) July 17, 2018
@LimeTreeTheatre @AbbeyTheatre what an awesome performance. I have been completely blown away by the #jimmyshall company. You are all so exceptionally talented. I have just gone through every emotion. Congratulations!— Suzanne Carmody (@Suzysparkle) July 16, 2018