“A Couple of Blaguards” at the Keegan Theatre is a performance that is so traditionally Irish that you almost expect someone to burst into a spontaneous sing-a-long of “Danny Boy.”
The show was centered on two brothers Frank (Timothy Hayes Lynch) and Malachy (Robert Leembruggen), and set in a pub in their hometown of Limerick, Ireland. They rehash the stories of their youth, From growing up in a strict Irish Catholic home to the trials of immigrating to America and trying to find work.
It sounds serious — and moments of it were — but the majority of the stories they told ended in a joke or in a chorus of an Irish folk song. There was not much of a cohesive plot moving the show forward; it was more like little sketches with the pair of actors. This kept the audience pretty entertained and openly encouraged people to sing along to the songs or at least clap along to them.
Lynch and Leembruggen must be commended on their performance. The show ran a little over two hours, but their energy never lagged, despite the fact that they mainly had only each other to work with. Their chemistry was palpable, and it really looked like a pair of brothers reconnecting.
Leembruggen truly excelled with this type of show. He must have played several dozen characters throughout the show while reenacting moments from his character’s childhood. Lynch went more for the direct jokes in the script.
The sets and costumes left something to be desired, but their simple nature was perfectly fitting for these simple men. There was a lot left to the imagination of the audience in their little skits, much like the minimalist nature of the set. It consisted of a little bar on one side, a small table on the other and walls covered with coat racks to hold the smaller prop pieces.
A night at Keegan Theatre with “A Couple of Blaguards” truly felt like a night at the bar reminiscing with old friends.
The show will play through Oct. 14.