The questions of morality and what makes a true Christian are the themes of “The Lonesome West,” a play by Martin Mcdonagh, which was performed at the Know Theatre in Downtown Binghamton the past two weekends.
In the small town of Leenane in Western Ireland, two brothers, Coleman and Valene, argue constantly about anything and everything, including the assets of their recently deceased father. The fighting is only calmed by the intervention of the Parish’s alcoholic priest, Father Welsh.
The brothers spend their days drinking, teasing one another and flirting with the town beauty, Girleen. It is only Father Welsh who calls attention to the growing murder and suicide rates in the small town. The brothers not only show a lack of sympathy for each other, but for the deaths and souls of their friends and neighbors.
Directed by James Gormley, this show succeeded in relating the most basic issues, that of the bond between family and friends, with the bigger issues of Christian morality and eternal damnation. The acting was so terrific that it was difficult for the audience not to be sucked right into the emotional roller coaster these characters create.
Anthony Corvino, a graduate student studying early childhood education, played a terrific Father Welsh. With the most emotionally dense and heartfelt monologue of the entire show, Corvino captivated the audience and touched their hearts with his sad, dark final words before committing suicide and betting his soul on the love and compromise of the two brothers.
Tim Gleason, who played Coleman, and Sean Walsh, who played his brother Valene, were a dynamic duo that the audience couldn’t help but laugh alongside. They quarrel over everything, from trivialities like eating a bag of crisps to more serious occurrences like the murder of their father by Coleman and the fiscal negotiations made to cover the crime up. Though both characters are obviously dark and sadistic, Gleason and Walsh conveyed this sense of malice through humorously amusing banter.
Caitlyn McNichol, who played Girleen, did a splendid job of mesmerizing the audience with her girlish charm. She was excellent at creating extreme sexual tension between herself and Father Welsh. Though Girleen has the least lines in the play, McNichol excelled in tying the characters together, helping the audience understand the love for Father Welsh and sense of loss that accompanied his death. She also created a sense of hope for the goodness still left in the sadistic small town.
The Know Theatre, located on 74 Carroll St., creates an artistic and friendly environment which ensures its audience will come again. For more information on the Know Theatre, call (607) 724-4341.