The Real Inspector Hound is the flagship play of Dramsoc. It is a farcical yet existential play from Tom Stoppard that centres upon Moon and Birdboot, two jaded theatre critics more concerned with their own personal dramatics than what is happening in the show.
As they watch the typical whodunit, they find themselves somehow drawn in to the hysterical antics unfolding in front of them. A madman is on the loose in Muldoon Manor and one of the residents is responsible, but who?
The cast embraced their parts with gusto, with no role been taken too seriously. The acting, both spoken and physical, was near pitch perfect, aside from one actress losing her country manor accent on occasion and lapsing into her own.
The stand out performance was without doubt Patricia Malpas (who is also a co-director) as the shrill and drunken Cynthia Muldoon. Malpas played the part of the tipsy shrew with upper class values so well that it was a disappointment whenever she left the stage.
Katie McCann, as Mrs Drudge, the nosy housekeeper, was also captivating. McCann’s performance was a physical one, her comedy stemming from her expressions, movements and general fumbling. Director, Finbarr Doyle, as Moon and Conor McKenna as Birdboot played well against each other as the cynic and the fool, respectively.
The set production crew made the very most of the black box space that is LG1, recreating as best they could the country manor with furniture, radio and telephone props giving the set charm and authenticity.
Costumes and make-up by Aisling Smith helped epitomise the era perfectly with Katie McCann looking wonderfully grotesque and the shrunken Mrs Drudge and Eamon McCarron brilliantly slimy as resident cad, Simon Gascoyne.
Comic timing was sharp and accurate, the cast keeping their composure while the audience emitted hearty belly laughs throughout. The Real Inspector Hound kicked off what should be a very promising year of DramSoc productions. Over-the-top and very silly but a great taste of the calibre of productions yet to come.