Goodbye Carraroe

Peacock Theatre, Dublin.

Sunday Independent Review August 20th, 1989

by Brian Brennan.

“Goodbye Carraroe” is a very funny send-up of the “creative process” as viewed from the swivel chair in a chance-your-arm Dublin film production office. This may be a mythical place – the punchdrunk, beleagured Irish film industry seems a soft and unworthy target for the satirist’s touch. But we’ll take author/director Neil Donnelly’s word for it that animals such as Dave Casey do exist, spouting sub-Hollywood jargon and tormenting impoverished script-writers for just one more draft. Certainly Philip O’Sullivan’s portrayal of the would-be Dublin movie mogul is funny and convincing – and vaguely familiar too. Des Cave is Joe Daly, a down-at-heel writer who only eight years ago was hailed as the white hope of the film industry. Now he’s close to breaking point as Casey speculates on ways to turn the “project,” a rural saga about a married woman’s love for a priest, into a potential Hollywood hit. It is no mean feat to make a Dublin audience laugh at failure and desperation but Des Cave, Philip O’Sullivan and Mary McGuckian (as Casey’s sexy secretary with certain creative aspirations of her own) succeed, mainly because Donnelly’s preposterous portrayal of the film underworld is irresistibly funny even if the author, searching in vain for one last laugh, allows the joke to wear a bit thin. A good evening’s entertainment.

Sunday Tribune Review August 20th, 1989

by Mary O’Donnell.

Neil Donnelly, writer and director of Goodbye Carraroe adopts the razor-blade approach to his scrutiny of the abuses perpetrated against screenwriters by egomaniac producers. But at times the blade cuts too crassly. Phillip O’Sullivan plays the producer and creates a winningly recognisable impression of the buffoon-cum-absurd poseur manipulating the ‘dependant’ artist. He is played by Des Cave with frustrated, barely-concealed rage which finally eruptss quite hilariously. Mary McGuckian as Alison, the producer’s ‘assistant’ is in the unfortunate dramatic position of having to do a great deal of eyelash fluttering and bum-twisting because she has so little dialogue at her disposal. Goodbye Carraroe is very funny and incisive within its limits and displays Donnelly’s talent for the mischievously cut-throat approach to subject.

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