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The Iceman Cometh 

It's not uplifting, but it works

click to enlarge Howard Beye and Mike Chandler
  • Howard Beye and Mike Chandler

The down-and-out denizens of Harry Hope’s bar are living on the fumes of good-times passed and the Annie-like dreams of tomorrow’s sunshine. Between their alcohol-fuelled naps, they drink some more, they quarrel and they dream. Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh is a marathon of sorts for both the actors and the audience. The writing is dense and repetitive—like a drunkard’s speech—and the end message is by no means uplifting. For although redemption is promised in the form of a reformed reprobate named Hickey who brings the down-and-outers to the brink of self-realization, all ultimately choose pipe dreams over reality. This production works well in-the-round in the black-box-turned-bar of The Bus Stop Theatre. At over three hours (thankfully cut down from the original five), the play is exhausting, but worth the investment, as you’ll leave examining your own “tomorrow dreams”.

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Vol 24, No 43
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