Tailored from his best-selling 2021 memoir of the identical identify, Strolling with Ghosts by Irish stage and display screen star Gabriel Byrne has already loved extremely acclaimed runs in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin earlier than coming on to Broadway for a restricted engagement of 75 performances on the Music Field Theatre. Directed by Emmy Award winner Lonny Value, Byrne, now 72, displays on the ups and downs of his life’s journey in his personal phrases, in a tour-de-force solo efficiency that’s poetic and lyrical in its language, witty and poignant in its content material, and completely charming and affecting in its supply.
Along with having greater than 80 movies and quite a lot of TV sequence to his credit score, the Tony-nominated actor has introduced his mastery to Broadway within the Eugene O’Neill classics A Moon for the Misbegottten, A Contact of the Poet, and Lengthy Day’s Journey into Night time. The signature depth and emotional honesty for which he’s recognized and lauded are seen and felt once more right here to perfection, alongside along with his potent understatement and pure ease on stage, as he takes us on his private path from rags to riches to rehab to reminiscences, exposing essentially the most cherished and distressing reminiscences of the individuals, locations, and experiences that formed him and proceed to hang-out his thoughts – the eponymous ghosts he walks with inside himself.
Starting along with his working-class childhood because the oldest of six siblings on the outskirts of Dublin, Byrne introduces us to his household, group, and environs, conjuring visions of “a now nearly vanished Eire” and the real-life characters from his previous, many now departed, along with his descriptive element and shifts in his mimicking voice and demeanor. We get to know them, and him, by means of the delights of his younger creativeness and the financial challenges he and his mother and father confronted, sharing reminiscences of the thrill of going out for prime tea along with his mom and his introduction to the love of flicks by his grandmother, his departure for England on the age of 11 to hitch a seminary, the place he was sexually molested by a priest, and his subsequent return to Eire and a sequence of unfulfilling low-paying dead-end jobs, till a pal instructed he audition with an newbie theater firm, the place he felt the happiness and sense of belonging that modified his route and launched him on an expert profession in performing, and, with it, a bohemian way of life.
Byrne’s candid commentary on each the enjoyable and the pitfalls of stardom included foolish jokes and hilarious imitations of the completely different curtain calls of quite a lot of performers, and a go to in Venice with a drunken Richard Burton that made him acknowledge his personal points with alcohol dependancy. So did the incidents of him passing out in a doorway on the road and waking up with an unknown bare girl in his mattress, which finally led him to hospitalization and remedy for dependency, and to now being 24 years sober. He additionally shared the ache of dropping his sister to psychological sickness on the age of 32, and to coming to an understanding of his mother and father after their deaths. Their presence and all of his defining reminiscences stay indelible.
A refined inventive design enhances the stellar efficiency with evocative sound and authentic music (by Sinéad Diskin) and lighting (by Sinéad McKenna), as Byrne strikes across the uncluttered stage (set by McKenna) in a standard shirt, vest, jacket, and trousers (costume by Joan O’Cleary), from chair to stool to desk, earlier than a backdrop of three empty monumental gold image frames that he fills for us along with his shifting heartfelt virtuoso accounts. It’s an intimate take a look at the person and his thoughts in a stirring night that shouldn’t be missed.
Operating Time: Roughly two hours and 20 minutes, together with an intermission.