succession of stirring plays imported by The
National Theatre of Great Britain comes Olivier Award-nominated The Seafarer by author Conor McPherson (The Weir, Shining City). It's Christmas Eve and five men find
themselves at high-stakes and the mercy of myth, game-playing, brotherhood and
the drink. Among these fateful fellows
is Nicky, portrayed by New York-based Irish actor, Sean Mahon.
Sean makes his Broadway debut in The Seafarer but holds theatre credits in the US and Europe, and is a founding
member of Virtual Theatre Project.
own News Desk Editor, Eugene Lovendusky, had the pleasant opportunity to
phone-chat with Sean while he took a brief break near the ice-skaters in
Bryant Park between rehearsals and a Friday evening performance.
Sean discusses the
privilege he feels in working opposite such polished and talented leading men,
the honor of shaping McPherson's poignant script, and his passion for going
wherever his work takes him
Eugene Lovendusky: Congratulations
on your Broadway debut. How does it feel?
Sean Mahon: Humbling
and exciting at the same time. We began previews last Tuesday, rehearsals
started four-weeks ago. It's certainly full-on and full-throttle. You don't get
a chance to sit back and relax because this is the point where we're
tweaking things to see what works and what doesn't work; so the level of
concentration is very focused. But who
wouldn't be happy with this? It's a great opportunity and a really great piece
of writing. I'm just really very fortunate. That's all I can say
Eugene: Tell me a little bit about the
The Seafarer is being
described as chilling with the arrival of a stranger and Heavy Drinking and the
power of Irish myth
so what kind of emotional or mental-ride does Conor
McPherson's script bring the audience on?
Sean: It's very
much an exploration of the human condition and how different people react and
respond to their lives. And what they present to the world, in terms of who they
are as characters and what is going on behind the mask, in terms of what
demons their holding
and how that interacts. It's very much a character-based
play. Conor's writing is almost musical and paints pictures at the same time.
It's a joy as an actor to be able to say the words. It's very conversational
but at the same time, tells a story. It's a piece that is so interactive,
and relies so much on these five men in the room, that I think will appeal to
the life experiences every person has, in some small way. Every aspect of the
play will in some way touch somebody or they'll know someone that has a
very representative of real life.
Eugene: What about your character, Nicky
Giblin? How does he fit into it all?
don't want to give too much away
There are five characters in the play, and it
revolves around two brothers, Richard and Sharky. Nicky is one of Richard's friends that comes
to play cards on Christmas Eve with them. Nicky is I wouldn't say
happy-go-lucky but he certainly has a positive outlook on life, and tries his
hand on many many many jobs and does is not very successful. And I wouldn't say
he's not loved or respected by a lot of people, but he's certainly not a deep
thinker. He's very reactive and moves very very fast. He presents a persona to
the world that's very flash and in-control of situations, but underneath it
all, he has his own set of problems concerning gambling and alcohol.