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Theatre review: 'The Field' and 'War' at Theatre Banshee

October 28, 2010 |  2:50 pm

Banshee,jpeg
A quiz for Los Angeles theatergoers:

Question: Where can you see a lot of Irish chancers fighting over turf?  

Answer: At “The Field” and “War,” playing in repertory at Theatre Banshee in Burbank. 

Q: Which one is the drama and which is the comedy?

A: Technically, “The Field,” by John B. Keane, is more serious than “War,” by Roddy Doyle. Both feature rowdy men who throw a punch to get what they want. Both are set in pubs. And both feature people saying "Jaysus" and "eijet" a lot.

Q: The film version of “The Field” starred which Academy Award-nominated actor?

A: Richard Harris, who lost out to Jeremy Irons for “Reversal of Fortune.” The story plays better live. 

Q: What do John B. Keane’s characters have in common with the opening scenes of “The Social Network”?

A: The best scene in “The Field” features a father and son comparing women and farm animals. 

Field  Q: Which filmmaker recently remarked that there were no positive role models for fathers in the whole of Irish literature?

A: Jim Sheridan, director of “The Field.”

Q: Which novel by Roddy Doyle was later adapted into a successful indie film?

A: “The Commitments.” There’s less dancing and more trivia in “War.”

Q: What is the plot of “War”?

A: There really isn’t one. The play is set during a quiz night at the local pub, where George, an unemployed father, desperately needs a victory in his life. 

Q: The whole play is just trivia questions?

A: No, there are some fights and flirting.

Q: Should I see both plays or just one?

A: “The Field” is like the first Guinness of the night — stout and simple. “War” is after you get sloppy and start saying things you’ll regret.  

Q: How would I do on George’s trivia team? 

A: That depends on whether you know the name of the lead singer of A-ha. 

Q: You mean that Norwegian band from the '80s with the MTV video of the guy trapped in a black-and-white cartoon? 

A: Bet you miss John Hughes too.

Q: What is the secret to the Sean Branney's assured direction?

A: The brownies at intermission. 

-- Charlotte Stoudt

“The Field” and “War,” Theatre Banshee, 3435 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Visit website for detailed performance schedule. Ends Dec. 12. $20 apiece. (818) 846-5323 or www.theatrebanshee.org. Running time for each play approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Photos: From left, Donald Agnelli, Tim Cummings and Kevin Stidham in "War" and, below, McKerrin Kelly in "The Field." Credit: David Robertson.

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