The Big Fellah Press

We’ll post coverage and reviews here as they appear. Check back. We’ll also post them in our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

INTERVIEW WITH FINBAR LYNCH | IRISH EXAMINER | 5 May 2011
On The Big Fellah, working with Pinter, and moving to London from Ireland.

REVIEW | SUNDAY INDEPENDENT (IRELAND) 23 April 2011
“An extraordinarily gripping piece of theatre… That old-fashioned thing, a superbly constructed, “well-made” play with layers of characterisation, fiercely provocative moral dilemmas, tension that is at times almost unbearable, and a cracking cast”

REVIEW | IRISH DAILY MAIL 24 April 2011
4 STARS “Big laughs… the narrative drive never falters and the cast is first rate”

INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD BEAN | ENTERTAINMENT.IE | 7 Apr 2011 
“The irony of the New York firemen collecting money for terrorism and then getting hit by it themselves is the kind of thing you just write a play about. It’s not a judgmental piece.”

INTERVIEW WITH MAX | IRISH TIMES | 20 Jan 2011 
“Any country’s history is most interesting examined from without.”

REVIEW | SUNDAY TIMES 
4 STARS CRITICS’ CHOICE 
“Jaw-dropping laughs
… A big, meaty subject… Cracking performances”

REVIEW | THE TIME OUT
4 STARS CRITICS’ CHOICE
“One moment you’re exploding with mirth at its sly abrasive wit, the next it’s choking the laughter out of your throat. Directed with thrilling energy and searing precision by Max Stafford-Clark. Horribly compelling”

REVIEW | THE GUARDIAN
4 STARS CRITICS’ CHOICE
“What is excellent about the play is the way it explores historical change through individual lives… Full of wild dark humour… Finbar Lynch as Costello exudes just the right mix of danger, charm and creeping disillusion; Fred Ridgeway is utterly terrifying”

REVIEW | DAILY TELEGRAPH
4 STARS “This fine dramatist has a tremendous gift for examining serious issues with bracing black humour… The characterisation is sharp, the craic often hilariously funny… A splendid cast get maximum value from a play that keeps turning on a sixpence between laughter and terror

REVIEW | VARIETY
“A tightly wound and funny depiction of a diaspora community whose dreams for their homeland turn to disillusion”

REVIEW | BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
“There is no other playwright around who has Richard Bean’s ability to explore the most serious subjects – literally matters of life and death – and dress them up in rich comedy… Ostensibly a play about Irish-Americans but, as subtext, one that takes on such issues as AIDS, gender issues and Al Qaeda… By the end of the evening, viewers will have learned a vast amount about The Irish Problem, almost by osmosis, a little about modern history on a wider but primarily American canvas and, at the same time, enjoyed many more laughs than in an average comedy… An ending that should leave audience members stunned… Wonderful entertainment

REVIEW | CAROUSEL OF FANTASIES
“Finbar Lynch really is on dazzling form… A sharply funny, gutsy and informative play”

REVIEW | WHATSONSTAGE.COM
4 STARSThe West End surely beckons

REVIEW | DAILY MAIL
4 STARS “Bean is bold to venture onto this territory… Good fun and satisfyingly pointed”

REVIEW | METRO
4 STARS “Gripping. The humour is delivered perfectly and the cast are enthralling to watch, offering poignant portraits of what it means to sell your soul only to be handed nothing bu pain in exchange”

REVIEW | THE TIMES
Bean is a master of dark comedy… It’s fascinating territory. Bean’s tone is sharp, witty, neither judgmental nor sentimental… Fine performances, particularly from Finbar Lynch as the urbane hard man Costello; Rory keenan as Ruairi, a gobshite with an evolving capacity for self-examination, and Fred Ridgeway as the unshowily psychotic Frank McArdle”

REVIEW | FINANCIAL TIMES
“What really drives the play, and what Bean handles with both compassion and wit, is the question of what draws people to fight for a cause… Gripping… Incisively written and laced with pitch-black comedy. Max Stafford-Clark’s production is taut and acted with precision. Fred Ridgeway is nastily believable as an IRA henchman and Rory Keenan is enjoyable as a wisecracking fugitive.”

REVIEW | CURTAIN-UP
“It is interesting isn’t it how Richard Bean can write excellent comic material and at the same time make us seriously think about the politics of a situation”

ESSAY | A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
Richard Bean’s funny and frantic piece on a trip to New York shortly after 9/11, American guns for the IRA, and the genesis of The Big Fellah.

REVIEW | BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
“Dark, witty and shocking… Deftly directed by Max Stafford-Clark with first-rate performances from all the cast, this play is highly recommended”

INTERVIEW WITH MAX | THE GUARDIAN
Big profile interview with Max Stafford-Clark, including a peak at Big Fellah rehearsals.

MAX AND STEPH DEBATE | THE OBSERVER
Big Fellah actor Stephanie Street and director Max Stafford-Clark debate whether mainstream theatre is politically engaged enough. Max: yes. Steph: no.

RICHARD BEAN INTERVIEW | EVENING STANDARD
Richard Bean on The Big Fellah, and his other current project House of Games.

RICHARD AND MAX | OXFORD TIMES
Max on making audiences cry. Richard on 9/11: “I thought to myself, ˜this is horrendous, what has happened here in New York, but you guys have been supporting Irish terrorism for 30 years'”

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