Pale Natives is the Paul Slabolepszy revival currently playing at The Market Theatre. It is a fabulous piece of theatre, well worth seeing.
Set in April 1994, just before the election, it is about five middle-aged men at the stag party (3rd marriage) of one of them, Dave. It a tale that combines humour with pathos and leaves one deeply moved.
Over the years Paul Slabolepszy has written a variety of characters we know. These are people who live and breathe around us. He has an uncanny knack of being able to unlock the human psyche in his characters. The audience can relate to their bravado and their vulnerability. Never simply stereotypical, they evoke in the audience a warm empathy.
In this production we find James Cairns, Ashley Dowds, Antony Coleman and Lionel Newton playing the four main characters (Dave only enters at the very end of Act I, passes out dead drunk and remains passed out for nearly the whole of Act II). The ensemble is strong, but it is Lionel Newton as Kyle whose stellar performance wrings the emotions out.
The man next to us sobbed as the play worked its way through to its finale. I was no less touched, although it is more difficult to wring tears out of a hardened cynic like myself.
Pale Natives is on at The Market Theatre until 5 May 2014. Do not miss it.