David Morse & Ciaran Hinds: The Devil to Pay

In a season brimming plays from some of the world's best and brightest writers, audiences are staying warm by spending an evening with five Irish men in a chilly cabin on Christmas Eve.  The Seafarer, a new play by Conor McPherson, sends play-goers a tingle of fear, a tickle of laughter, and a buzz of humanity.  

Pitting legend and superstition against the risk of card-playing and the drink, The Seafarer balances upon polished performers like Hollywood film and TV star David Morse and acclaimed-actor Ciaran Hinds.  Morse portrays droll-sapped Sharky, a genuinely good-boy who can't seem to steer clear of trouble, and now whipped into caring for his blind brother.  On a winter evening with friends, Sharky's life takes a spin with the appearance of a distant-stranger, Mr. Lockhart (Hinds), who places an enormous bet on the table.

BroadwayWorld News Desk Editor, Eugene Lovendusky, met in the depths of the Booth Theatre to discuss the extraordinary characters who fill each inch of Conor McPherson's powerfully engaging and humorous new play...

Eugene Lovendusky – Congratulations and a warm thank you for talking with BroadwayWorld this evening.  The Seafarer is a definite thrill-ride. Tell me about the its title – Conor McPherson read a short poem, correct?

Ciaran Hinds – He picked it up, a pre-medieval eighth or ninth century poem from the Dark Ages. It's basically about this soul who lives precariously "out there" and on their own. I think people have different ideas to whom it refers. Which character?

Eugene – Who do you think it is?

Ciaran – I think it's him. [points to David]

David Morse – I think it's him. [points to Ciaran] I do, because I get to stay on land. He doesn't.

Ciaran – At the same time, you're the one who's kind of flailing around in life with no protocol. You go from job to job in search of something. I mean, I don't know. Neither of us know!

David – For a while, the character of Lockhart is doomed. There is a possibility for me for some kind of redemption. Sparky has certainly spent my time out on the sea and could be out there… but things intervene in his life. Nothing is intervenes in his.

Ciaran – There's a moment where he asks "Am I worth saving?" and he realizes, no. There's a possibility of redemption for just about everybody except him.  It's very hard the way Conor's structured it. It's so funny, this piece. It's set-up with these very funny quirky characters that exist in this low-life kind of way; but they all have their own fantastic sense of comedy and connection before the dark side comes into it. In the second-half where the darkness is introduced – these guys are playing cards with witty fast asides – when we're playing that last hand of cards, there is a silence. A palpable silence in the audience to see who is going to come up with the winning-hand. And then a sense of relief followed by laughter.

Eugene – I want to talk about that card game. It's such a roller-coaster watching it. What is it actually like when you're playing it?

David – For me, there's a real card game going on. There is real stuff going on that's way beyond these hands. There is so much underneath it all. The unknown with some of these characters, I just love.

Ciaran – They do play proper hands of cards with bets and wins. But the under-currents of five different people can be interrupted when somebody starts something. Where is this going to lead to?

Eugene – You both joined these quirky characters here in New York. Jim Norton and Conleth Hill started from the very beginning in London. What was it like integrating with them?

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Eugene Lovendusky Eugene Lovendusky graduated summa cum laude from SFSU with a BA in Writing for Electronic Media and a minor in Drama. Raised in the SF Bay Area, his love for the arts bloomed at an early-age; a passion that has flourished in NYC, where Eugene now lives and works. He is a proud member of the New York City Gay Mens' Chorus.