Square Box Theatre, Ranfurly House, Dungannon
5 October 2018
Or as it might be known in London, Five Guys Named Paddy.
On the surface The Kings of the Kilburn High Road sounds like something that wouldn't get far past the elevator pitch in a film studio: five Irish lads are at a friend's wake.
However over the course of the two acts the minutia of a far more complex tale emerges, something of a hyper of personalities, life choices, the lies we tell ourselves, and ultimately how we confront these things in the shadow of death.
All wrapped up in a funerary shroud of black comedy.
It's the story of six Irish lads who came to London to find their pot of gold and years later when one of their group has died they've come together to mourn, and are forced to look back over their lives.
It would genuinely be difficult to pick out a standout performance from the night, certainly by the time the obligatory fight in the story broke out I was invested enough to be worried about getting a pint around me. It was a convincing display of raw emotion; anger, loss, despair, being forced to look back over life and facing up to the truth of self, and I couldn't single out one of the lads as putting on a better performance than the others.
As always it was a terrific show from the Castle Hill Theatre Group and without a doubt it was a great debut for Shane Coleman with the group.
It was also the first time I've ever appreciated having a talkative audience member sitting behind me or I would never have known that a Shay-boy is a rent boy.
The Kings of the Kilburn High Road is being performed in the Craic Theatre, Coalisland on 11th & 12th October, and then in the Marketplace Studio, Armagh on 9th November, if you have the opportunity to make it to the show you should seek it out.
Available for sale