Royal performances in Kings of the Kilburn High Road

This is a tale of six middle-aged Irish men who emigrated to London in search of a better life in the 1970s. One of them dies and the other five attend the wake.

  The entire play is set in the backroom of a London pub, although the storytelling from the five drinkers is so vivid that it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

  Each of the men has his own story but alcohol and regret is woven through most of the narrative. The feeling that they have stayed in London too long hits them all. Jap Flanagan (Phelim Drew) is full of bravado but underneath it all lies a life of underachievement, while his companions all have their own problems.

  The Livin Dred Theatre Company deserve tremendous credit for their production with Drew and Malcolm Adams producing moments of hilarity throughout. Not to be outdone, Seamus O’Rourke (Maurteen), Charlie Bonner (Joe) and Arthur Riordan (Shay) bring a sense of poignancy to proceedings as they look back on what might have been.

  This is engrossing theatre and touches on subjects that, while difficult, have been prevalent throughout the history of Irish emigration and remain relevant today.