Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Double Cross

“Nuanced performances”

Who did Brendan Bracken and William Joyce see when they looked into the mirror?  Two Irishmen, the first the Tipperary-born son of a militant republican father, the second an Irish-American, born in New York and raised in Galway? Or two self-styled upper crust Englishmen, prominent players on opposing sides of Second World War’s propaganda battle?

In a traverse styled production, with the audience seated on both sides of Ciaran Bagnall’s polished wood staging, which can risk the loss of lines. Nevertheless, in the central casting, Ian Toner deftly handles the intense, angry verbal war which lies at the core of Thomas Kilroy’s Double Cross.

Director Jimmy Fay employs gauze screens and projected news footage to bring the social climate of the 1940s into focus. It soon becomes evident, however, that this 32 year-old play, with its themes of identity, political expediency, rising right wing nationalism, fake news and media spin is an anthem for our own troubled times.

With engaging vocal and physical delicacy, Toner portrays Bracken as an insecure, sexually ambiguous political operator with a faux accent and a ludicrous wig.  He morphs onstage into the figure who haunts him and is powerful as Joyce’s eerie alter ego Lord Haw-Haw, whose broadcasts from Berlin sent fear across the Channel but whose acquisition of British citizenship set him up for execution.

Charlotte McCurry crisply covers the female roles, the most rounded of which is Joyce’s single-minded fascist wife Margaret.  The versatile Sean Kearns skilfully spans class and nationality divides as Lord Beaverbrook, a London fire warden, bumbling German Erich and a menacing Nazi officer.

Related to this Review


Production Details
Production nameDouble Cross
VenueLyric Theatre
StartsOctober 10, 2018
EndsOctober 27, 2018
Running time2hrs 10mins
AuthorThomas Kilroy
DirectorJimmy Fay
Set designerCiaran Bagnall
Costume designerGillian Lennox
Lighting designerPaul Keogan
Sound designerChris Warner
Video designerNeil O'Driscoll
CastCharlotte Mccurry, Ian Toner, Sean Kearns
Company stage managerAimee Yates
ProducerAbbey Theatre, Belfast, Dublin, Lyric Theatre
VerdictA nuanced central performance illuminates Thomas Kilroy’s angry masterpiece
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Jane Coyle

Jane Coyle

Jane Coyle

Jane Coyle

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In