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Broadway Baby Review

Another great 5 star review for Howie the Rookie from Broadway Baby.

An adrenaline-filled performance, which stimulates all the senses … not to be missed.

Two of a Kind

Mark O’Rowe revisits his interlocking monologue Howie the Rookie to produce something you are unlikely to forget. As the director and scriptwriter, he invites us to spend an afternoon with Howie, an average guy, who sets out to take his revenge on Rookie, the man that ‘breaks hearts and hymens’ and who gave his mates scabies. O’Rowe rattles us with this brutally mesmerising adventure, swirling through the grim streets of Dublin. He drags us deep into a nightmarish world, filled with booze, fat dollies, feuds and bloodshed.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, star of RTÉ’s hit show Love/Hate which premiered in Ireland in 2010 and is airing in the UK this summer, brilliantly plays both Howie and Rookie. At first he is Howie Lee (as in Bruce), telling us about himself. Then his namesake Rookie finishes off; each a manifestation of the same self, marked by a split second tee-shirt change from purple to blue. What starts as a comically bizarre yarn about a scabies-infested mattress turns into a tragic introspective account that both Howie and Rookie share. What seems to be a ludicrous and bellicose testimony turns into something more dark and fragile.

This is a terribly grim and lyrical piece which Vaughan-Lawlor jolts into life. His delivery is so in tune with the words. You watch his muscular body moving up and down, in and out, to tell the story with an electric energy, physically moving in sync with his lines. It is an adrenaline-filled performance, which stimulates all the senses. He tirelessly delivers with unyielding energy and physical control. Told with a fierce and exact intensity Vaughan-Lawlor confirms that the Irish really do have a remarkable talent at telling stories.

Between O’Rowe’s script and Vaughan-Lawlor’s flawless acting, you could go as far as to say the pair fit together as well as Howie and Rookie. This piece of Irish theatre filled with violence, devastation and skulduggery is not to be missed