It’s St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin but you wouldn’t know if from the meagre crowd in O’ Leary’s Pub. Besides the barman and the landlady, Siobhan, the only other people there are resident barflies and best buddies Desmond and Eddie. Siobhan seems unaware that it is the national holiday until it’s pointed out to her, a reflection of her interest in the business that was previously run by her now deceased husband.
The arrival of an American, John Hall, to apparently use the bathroom piques their interest, even more so when he returns again a few minutes later claiming to be a journalist who could put O’ Leary’s on the map. With a mixture of Irish hospitality, mistrust, and degradation the gang entertain Hall as long as he’s buying the drinks. It transpires that his questions may have more to do with the pub having a reputation as an IRA bar than anything else and pretty soon the quiet St. Patrick’s Day becomes one they will remember for a long time.
Johnny Walsh’s May I Use the Bathroom Please? is a slightly surreal modern comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is filled with laughs during its 30 minute running time. Most of the humour comes from the excellent characters portrayed by the ensemble cast, in particular Siobhan (Emer Casey). The premise, though not perfect, is the ideal backdrop for such a farcical piece and May I Use the Bathroom Please? definitely has a lot more to offer.
May I Use the Bathroom Please? runs until February 26th as part of Scene + Heard, The Festival of New Work, at Smock Alley Theatre. It is paired with Mic Drop and has a combined running time of just over one hour.
Writer & Director: Johnny Walsh
Producer: Emma Hanley