The play is set in an apartment in Paris. Modern Interior.
Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, The God of Carnage relates to an evening in the lives of two couples, residents of a Paris neighbourhood, who meet to discuss a playground incident. Alain and Annette’s son hit Michel and Véronique’s son in the face with a stick, resulting in two broken teeth. The four of them agree to meet and discuss the incident civilly. However, as the evening goes on, and drinks are imbibed the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos.
|Alain Reille||Conor O’Connell|
|Annette Reille||Sarah Gallagher|
|Véronique Vallon||Anne Delaney|
|Michel Vallon||Pádraig Broe|
|Set Design||Michael Broe|
|Set Construction||Michael Broe|
|Set Decoration||Anne Smyth|
|Stage Manager||Michelle Broe|
|Stage Crew||Killian Delaney|
|Production Co-ordinator||John Lennon|
About the Group
The Moat Club, from Naas in Co. Kildare have been competing on the One Act and Three Act circuit since the late 1950’s. During that time, they have been very successful winning One Act Open All Irelands in 1983, 1989, 1999, and 2016, with top honours in Three Act Open All Irelands in 1974, 1979 and 2000. As well as competing on the circuit, the club produce up to five shows a year from various genres as well as putting on an annual Christmas Pantomime and hosting a One Act Festival.
Summary of Adjudicator’s Comments
Adjudicator Geoff O’Keeffe noted that ‘The God of Carnage’ was a winner of both Olivier and Tony awards. Productions of the play have attracted critical and commercial success, with actors such as James Gandolfini and Ralph Fiennes among those to appear in versions.
It’s a “brutally comic dissection of bourgeois values” where adults begin to act like unruly children. There is a “visceral edge” to the comedy with racism, homophobia and sexism rearing their heads. This play requires a director to balance the comic moments with “savage confrontation”.
The four actors must work as an ‘ensemble’; there are no ‘lead’ and ‘supporting’ actors in this play, noted the adjudicator. The physical comedy must be as sharp as the verbal barbs. And with a deliberate pun, Mr O’Keeffe posed the question: what did the Moat Club ‘throw up’ in their production?
Examining the setting, the adjudicator described it as “beautifully rendered” and “totally suited to the needs of the play”. The fashionable Parisian apartment was “fresh” and “contemporary”, with aspects such as the artwork and sculptures really augmenting the overall impression.
Those responsible for the lighting were praised for a job well done. Both the opening and closing sound effects were appropriate to the play and the mobile phone calls were all “on cue”.
The costumes “really told us who these four people were”, with Veronique’s outfit suitably “artsy”. The adjudicator said the use of plastic coverings after the “famous puking scene” was a “genius touch”. Such touches helped to “make the production sing”.
A director can’t take on the challenge of ‘The God of Carnage’ without four actors who will serve the needs of the play and “work as a unit”. And the adjudicator said the director was “so well served by these four actors”. With their “vocal delivery” and “physicalisation”, they were “at the top of their game” and Mr O’Keeffe said, “I saw four characters, not actors, throughout the piece”.
This production “found the rhythms” of the play – an example being the way the male actors “naturally” moved positions when appearing to gang up on the women. The director was “served so well by the comic abilities” of the actors. An example of a pointed line that worked brilliantly was when Michel said to Annette: “Puking seems to have perked you up”. The “physical disintegration” of the setting, and of the characters themselves, also came in for favourable comment from the adjudicator.
The adjudicator had one “really small quibble” which he delivered in amusing fashion when he questioned the towels that Michel brought out for Annette. “I don’t know if a stylish lady like Veronique would buy blue towels in Pennys; I think they’d be white, fluffy towels.” Overall, though, this director (Eugene Delaney) was “at the top of his game”.
Turning to the individual actors, Conor O’Connell (who played Alain Reille, the “suave lawyer” who didn’t want to be there) was described as “totally unlikeable” (but in a good way in terms of his performance). This was “excellent work” and “so well considered”, according to the adjudicator.
Annette (played by Sarah Gallagher) started off “slightly uptight” but showed “her true colours” by the end. She remained “very much in the moment” in delivering an “excellent performance”. Anne Delaney was hailed for “superb work” in her role as the liberal and idealistic Veronique Vallon.
Padraig Broe was highly commended for being an actor “who disappeared and became the character (Michel Vallon)”. His physical acting and vocal delivery were praised as “wonderful” and his comic timing was “expert”, in what was “another excellent performance”.
Overall, the adjudicator said the director “marshalled the very considerable talents of the cast” to find the “nuances” of this play. “We needed carnage and the Moat Club brought it in spades,” he added.