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