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Fortune smiles, briefly, on the impoverished Boyle household in Sean O’Casey’s 1924 tragicomedy of working class life, set during the Irish Civil War when young men are dying for conflicting causes and principles fail to put food on the table.

Designer Bob Crowley’s capacious, rather too elegant Dublin tenement threatens to dwarf the drunken antics of Ciarán Hinds’ strutting, workshy paterfamilias and his feckless sidekick Joxer as his wife (Sinéad Cusack’s worn down Juno) battles to keep her family together. But, in this solid co-production with Ireland’s Abbey Theatre, it’s impossible not to feel for Ronan Raftery’s Johnny, their twice-injured son who’s lost both a limb and his peace of mind.

Lyttelton at the National, South Bank,  SE1 9PX
Tube: Waterloo
Until February 26



Juno and the Paycock, Lyttelton at the National - theatre review
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