It's Christmas Eve in a rundown flat somewhere north of Dublin. There is plenty of drink, plenty of talk, and a rowdy game of poker. What are the stakes? The soul of James "Sharky" Harkin. Hoy Polloy Theatre present the much-anticipated Victorian premiere of Conor McPherson's 2006 award-winning whiskey-and-the-devil romp. Time Out spoke with company director Wayne Pearn.
Hi Wayne, tell us about The Seafarer. Is it a morality tale, a supernatural thriller, or a celebration of yarn-spinning and Irish blarney?
First up, I reckon it’s a really intimate observation of male dereliction. But it's also about the need for darkness in our lives, so we are able to grasp the light, hope, opportunity and truth.
Hoy Polloy also presented McPherson's Shining City back in 2007. What's the attraction of McPherson's work?
I’ve read all his plays and, it must be said, the plays of many other Irish playwrights as well. I’m just fascinated by the way they tell a story.
This is the first Hoy Polloy show in almost two years. Why the hiatus?
We’ve all been really busy on other projects. I’ve been treading the boards again as well as directing for other companies which I’ve enjoyed immensely. While it’s been great for us to go ‘solo’ for a bit it’s really energising to get the band back together.
What are some of the challenges running independent theatre company in Melbourne?
Gee, where do I start! The usual suspects: affordable venues and rehearsal spaces, funding, production costs, getting bums on seats... and then, after all that, hoping there are a few bucks left over for all involved. I reckon we’ve made a pretty good fist of it, but we've been at it for a while, so we’ve had plenty of experience in identifying what works and what doesn’t.