Arts & Entertainment

The Gigli Concert

Photo: Frank Farrugia

Anyone involved in the theatre scene knows it’s tough, almost impossible, “but some of us just feel compelled to keep going, so we do,” says actor Patrick Dickson. It helps when Dickson has the chance to explore the fascinatingly eccentric character of quack psychiatrist JPW King in one of the greatest Irish plays of the last century –  Tom Murphy’s The Gigli Concert.

“He’s bright, but not smart. He’s camping in his office because he’s one of life’s misfits,” says Dickson.

Enter a mysterious Irishman with a problem: he wants to sing like the great Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. Luckily, JPW King believes anything is possible and what unfolds is a lot of drinking, a lot of music and “a lot of magic,” says Dickson.

Widely regarded as Murphy’s masterpiece, the play is many things – “It’s a comedy, but an intelligent comedy. It’s not one-liners and gags,” says Dickson.

“It’s emotional. The work of Gigli is embedded in the play, so because it’s opera, it brings the emotional level up.”

Perhaps most of all, it’s a beautiful glimpse of “people who wouldn’t normally know each other, who find something very special in one another,” says Dickson. (MT)

Apr 4-May 4, Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst, $30-43, (02) 8356 9987, darlinghursttheatre.com

BY MELODY TEH

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