Howie the Rookie: In brief
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor plays both roles in a reconceived version of writer-director Mark O’Rowe’s brutal Dublin drama, which first rocked New York in 2001.
Howie the Rookie: Theater review by Helen Shaw
Mark O’Rowe’s Howie the Rookie has already had two New York productions, a tour in 2001 and a local production in 2005. Now it is back, in a startlingly beautiful one-man version that seems written for its new star, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, perhaps because O’Rowe himself has taken on directing duties. And if producers want to bring Howie back four years from now, then ten, then twelve, we’ll still greet the gorgeous thing with huzzahs: O’Rowe’s hilarious, pimp-rollin’, blood-soaked text has Shakespeare’s interiority, Marlowe’s viciousness and a cowboy’s jangling gait; it’s got Joyce’s sense of place, Faulkner’s sense of language and even a sprinkling of murderously timed fart jokes. Read more
The 1990s in theatre meant more than “in-yer-face” plays. At the same time as British drama was growing graphic and biological, a crop of Irish playwrights were breathing new life into the monologue form. Conor McPherson and Enda Walsh are the best known, but in 1999 Mark O’Rowe’s Howie the Rookie almost bridged the gap between the monologue and in-yer-face currents.
Howie Lee and Rookie Lee – no relation – share a surname and a city, Dublin. In Mark O’Rowe’s revival of his own cult classic, both men are played by a single actor, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and they seem to share much more besides: a Neanderthal gait, empty eyes and a slack-jawed drawl. It’s like they were destined to meet in fateful circumstances.
Read four-star rave review by Peter Crawley in The Irish Times here.
“Mark O’Rowe transforms his two-hander monologue play into an epic one-man performance for Tom Vaughan-Lawlor”
“riveting new production”
Read five-Star review by Lucy White in the Metro Herald here.
“Electrifying performance… blistering script”
“… this production underscores O’Rowe’s and Vaughan-Lawlor’s status as Ireland’s most exciting talents and one heck of a double act.”
Read five-star review by Brendan O’Rourke in Entertainment.ie here.
“The one man show – a daunting prospect for both audience and actor alike. A sole figure must fill the stage and hold an audience with their story resulting in an experience, which can land on opposite sides of the spectrum from sheer brilliance to painful to watch. This Landmark Production of Howie the Rookie has an added weight thrown into the balance.”
Read Emer O’Kelly’s review in the Sunday Independent here.
“It’s acting of extraordinary quality. Mark O’Rowe directs, with equally devastating restraint.”
Four-star review by Nadine O’Regan in the Sunday Business Post Magazine.
“A masterclass in acting…a performance of astounding and exhilarating verve and skill.”
“entrancing and enthralling“