Sampling from the Willamette Week Review: The Seven Wonders of Ballyknock

Theater review: Luck of the Irish

Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2015,

 Louise Chambers and Heath Koerschgen at Lakewood Theatre Company

The Seven Wonders of Ballyknock aren’t too impressive. “The eighth is my arse!” says Mag (Marilyn Stacey), proprietor of the Cap ’n’ Bells pub. But her lumbering, amiable son Jonty (Heath Koerschgen)—the only boy from this sleepy Irish town to return from the recently ended World War II—is obsessed with them. So when Cordelia (Louise Chambers), a New York blue blood with a mysterious connection to Ballyknock, shows up, Jonty jumps at the chance to play tour guide. As you might expect from a play about Ireland by an American—in this case, Oregonian C.S. Whitcomb—there are a lot of jokes about drinking and a lot of grating pronunciations of “tea.” But there’s also another Irish tradition: quick wit. Set entirely in the bar—the lights go dim for the outdoor scenes—with a fairly small cast, this Lakewood Theatre production is carried instead by expert timing and sassy punches. “I’ve never stole in my 60 years,” says town drunk Old Bailey when asked tThe Seven Wonders of Ballyknock, Jan 9 - Feb 15, 2015 at Lakewood Theatre Companyo watch the bar. “Put it on my tab.” Director Stephanie Mulligan helps the cast find a careful balance between jaunty humor and the play’s darker elements. Jonty’s geniality betrays the scars he bears from war, and Cordelia harbors dark secrets of her own. Maybe the eighth wonder is the townspeople themselves. Or, y’know, Mag’s ass.

Read review on Willamette Week site.

More details about the show.

Pictured: Louise Chambers and Heath Koerschgen in Lakewood Theatre Company's production of The Seven Wonders of Ballyknock, playing Jan 9 - Feb 15, 2015 at Lakewood Theatre. Photo by Triumph Photographers.