6 September 2022
WALKING WITH GHOSTS (Apollo Theatre) Review
At first I had my doubts about what a 2-hour monologue about Gabriel Byrne’s life would be like. Luckily, I gave it a chance, and it didn’t disappoint.
Byrne is clearly an engaging storyteller. He walks the audience through his life from being a young boy to to having matured into a respected actor and everything in-between. Chunks of the material are surprising (at least for me who knew virtually nothing about Byrne’s life) and cover subjects that may offend or upset some people, but Byrne emerges being a stronger man for having gone through those experiences.
I didn’t know that Byrne’s memoir was originally a book (on which this show is based). Lonny Price’s direction streamlines the individual story vignettes nicely and gives them the kind of cohesiveness that’s really important for the stage.
It would be quite easy to sit there and listen to Byrne for a few more hours. When he is himself and in his own voice, he just draws you in. He is, however, doing everyone else’s voices too, and, when he slips into a thick Irish accent, he becomes really difficult to understand. I certainly struggled in several places, and people around me were saying the same thing during the intermission.
Cheapskate enjoyment value: £2.