Two acclaimed one-man shows will be performed in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th August. ‘Marx in Soho’, written by legendary historian and political scientist Howard Zinn, (Author of ‘A People’s History of America’) will play in the Town Hall Thursday, 23rd August, followed by ‘The Fever’, written by Wallace Shawn on Friday 24th. Both shows start at 8.30 pm sharp.
With over 30 years’ experience in theatre, as well as academic career, actor Jerry Levy has been touring Europe, North America and beyond with the shows for almost ten years. This Irish leg is taking in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway.
‘Marx in Soho’ opens with Karl Marx being given an hour and a half to return to earth. We witness his reflections on what he has seen unfolding over the century and more since his death and on how his ideas have been used and abused in the meantime. This portrayal of Marx (who famously declared that he was ‘not a Marxist’) shrugs off the ideological rigidities so often associated with his name and gives us instead a very human glimpse of the man, with stories of the personal woven through the political narrative.
Explaining his reason for writing the script, author Howard Zinn explained, “I wanted to show Marx as few people saw him, as a family man, struggling to support his wife and children.”
Actor Jerry Levy agrees. “I’m having fun with the play. The script is very compelling and engaging. Not only do you see the relevance of his ideas, but you learn what kind of man he was… It is a humanisation of Marx. He loves classical music and Shakespeare and believed in democracy. So it is more than just a blistering critique of capitalism.”
“I see [the show as being] for those who know nothing about Marx or who have been mislead by society about his idea,” he said, “I also see it as a kind of support for people who disagree with the direction that society is going in. It will make people feel better and maybe help them to be willing to struggle on for what they believe in, whether they’re socialists or not.”
Ultimately, ‘Marx in Soho’ is an inspirational play: “This was a man who made a difference. We can make a difference.”
The question of making a difference in the face of injustice is again addressed with Levy’s performance of ‘The Fever.’ In this show, our narrator is forced to examine the contradictions between his values and his lifestyle as he attempt to face the question, ‘can I make a difference?’ without resorting to platitudes or easy answers. Indeed, writing about Levy’s performance, Harry Giles of Edinburgh Festivals notes that, “There is a fear that “The Fever” asks a lot of its audiences, and could be difficult to watch. But Jerry Levy’s performance is as warm and human as any I’ve seen… Like “Marx in Soho”, “The Fever” is a play to think about, and one which talks about some of the most important things a play can. I can’t recommend it enough.”
Tickets for each show cost €8/€4 concessions and are available from the Town Hall Box Office. 091 569777 / www.tht.ie
For more reviews from the shows, please click here!