Joseph Coughlan is one of the Youth Ambassadors from Burnside High School, and also a member of The Court Youth Company. Joe recently watched End of the Rainbow and wrote a review for his school paper. Check it out!
The Wizard Of Oz is not just a story – it’s a childhood memory that is shared by almost everyone. But what became of the young actress who played Dorothy? As a youth all I knew was that she had been a child prodigy and had become very famous but then died tragically young.
The Court Theatre’s production of End of the Rainbow is a phenomenally powerful play that shows you the anguished last months of Judy Garland’s life, a life tormented by her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. The play is set predominantly in a London hotel where she, her fiancé Mickey Deans, and her pianist Anthony are based whilst she performs in a six-week ‘comeback’ tour called Talk of the Town. She’s under the strict management of her soon-to-be husband, Mickey, who is fully aware of her previous struggles with addiction. From the perspective of society today we are really able to see the gritty price stars sometimes pay for fame.
The set layout was very simple, moving between the Talk of the Town show and Garland’s hotel room. What really held the audience’s attention were the emotional interactions between the three characters. Garland was volatile and easily provoked but also very fragile. This behaviour was disapproved of by Mickey Deans who wanted her to stay focused and in peak physical condition. Their intensely venomous repartee provides many great laughs.
The scenes at Talk of the Town are so real I felt like I was at a Jazz Bar in Chicago. The whole performance was so majestic and filled with spirit. Nothing can compare to live theatre except perhaps live music.
End of the Rainbow is a definite must see. It is a very moving and triumphant piece that shares with us the realities of fame and how it can affect someone’s mental well-being.
When a play leaves you thinking about the messages and themes that it has portrayed then that is when you know it is going to be successful. It left me feeling enlightened and pondering Garland’s life and what could have been. I also discovered she had a wicked sense of humour. The very talented cast features Elish Moran as Judy Garland (singing superbly), Kevin Keys as Mickey Deans and Roy Snow as Anthony.
What a great way for the Court Theatre to start off the year, with this truly amazing performance about a truly amazing star. I know I’ll be sure to check out their next play.