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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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It is easy see why this rumbustious romp of a show has been a huge hit barnstorming around Ireland. The wildly talented company of six actor-musicians attack Spike Milligan’s absurd comic novel with inspired physical gusto, all of them playing several instruments and roles, often hopping to and fro from one to the other. At one point pianist Paul Boyd plays two characters simultaneously and has a conversation with himself!

Boyd as musical director, narrator and music hall style chairman battles to referee the anarchic mayhem as this tall tale of the small village of Puckoon that falls foul of the boundary commission during the partition of Ireland in 1922 unravels.

Due to an administrative glitch the new border runs right through their sleepy community, separating the church from its graveyard and even cutting the pub in two. Whatsmore, beer is thirty percent cheaper at the Republican end of the bar!

Add to this heady mix the IRA smuggling arms, a bit of body snatching and a plethora of eccentric comic characters and you have the surreal and whacky world of Puckoon.

- Keith Myers


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