Tir Na Nog


Oran Mor, Glasgow
May 27 –  June 1, 2019

Stagecraft: four-stars.png  Book: four-stars.png  Performance: four-stars.png

The Oran Mor shines again with a whistle stop tour of life’s peripheries. We joined a ship today for this performance of Celtic mythology of Tir Na Nog which translates as Land of the Young. The myth goes that if one was heroic or lucky enough one could attain eternal life in the land of the young. Tir was written by Dave Anderson, well known for his acting career, in an offering that previously won the Best New Musical award at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe.


Two of the chorus, Annie Grace and Brian James O’Sullivan, stood poised and ready, she with her flute, he his accordion, as the house announcer welcomed us. The show bedazzled us from the start as they performed with huge enthusiasm, starting and finishing each song with great gusto. The story was all about the Poet (Anderson), who navigated the sea as he had navigated his life, with passion and depth. No detail was left unturned, with the life of the poet unfurling at the whim of he who was at its helm. In the songs, we feel the camaraderie between the crew, perhaps even a pirate crew, at sea caring and searching for each other. The sea, wild and calm, that captivated and enthralled, no stranger to his great highs and crippling lows, to take his decisions and ride them until the very end.

There was a mesmerising quality to this musical, as the music drew you ever deeper into the memories it explored. You got a sense that no boundary would stop the will for life of this man. It shone, they all shone, as it pierced straight into the hearts of so many who are living remarkable lives, unafraid and courageous. It felt like a homage to every manifestation of life from the small and fragile to the large and melodramatic.


Dave’s own personal self-deprecating humour is always endearing, and somehow brings an invitation to come and think along with him. He reminds us that life is not always a sweet bed of roses, but out of it rises epic strength and a sense of overcoming, all presented with the greatest taste, charm and wisdom. We were with him all the way and felt included in the celebration of the joy and pain of life. At the end, the whole audience sings a rollicking chorus of “Rolling Home” loudly and prophetically. Don’t miss your chance to catch this storm of a show – it’s tour de force!

Daniel Donnolly


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