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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In Context: Howie the Rookie

Howie the Rookie runs at BAM from December 10—14. Context is everything, so get even closer to the show with this curated selection of articles, interviews, and videos related to the production. Once you've seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

Program Notes


Irish Tumbleweed (BAM blog)
Theater scholar Jonathan Kalb makes connections between Mark O’Rowe’s play and the work of Samuel Beckett.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor In Conversation With Mark O'Rowe (Irish Independent)
The actor and the writer/director discuss their careers and how they came to work together on Howie the Rookie.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor: Nidgey, Howie, PJ and Me (The Irish Times)
“The actor who doesn’t grow is a hack,” says Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.

Mark O’Rowe On The Power to Shock—And Feel (The Irish Times)
“I mean, a single actor holding an audience’s attention for two hours is achievement in itself," says O'Rowe.

On Molloy by Samuel Beckett (The Independent)
Novelist Tim Parks relates the influence Beckett's Molloy—which was an influence for Howie the Rookie—had on him.

Watch & Listen

Interview with Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Mark O’Rowe (RTE Radio 1)
The actor and writer/director discuss Howie the Rookie.

Interview with Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Galway International Arts Festival)
Says Vaughan-Lawlor on Howie the Rookie: "It's another one of those plays that you can't go half-hearted at. It's kind of all or nothing, really. If you duck out of it you're going to be found out."

A Session With Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (YouTube)
Vaughn-Lawlor gives acting advice and talks about his part in the series Love/Hate. 

An Excerpt from Beckett's Molloy (YouTube)
Jack MacGowran performs a famous section from the novel.

Now your turn...

So how did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below.


  1. The Irish accent made the action very hard to follow. The play is full of incident - but for an American audience, it was very hard to follow. After the performance, quite a few members of the audience were trying to figure it out.

  2. This was fairly sexist and offensive, covered up by a strong Irish accent doesn't make that okay.

    1. I am not sure what your blanket statement "not okay" is supposed to to mean in this context but just because a piece of of art offends your sensibilities does not negate its right to exist. If you seek expression that meshes exclusively with your worldview you want propaganda, not art.

  3. The show became more understandable as it progressed but was, as one commenter pointed out, slightly difficult to keep up with. It is fast paced and you have to be on your toes. I'm from the UK and was not upset by the language, this may be different for those who don't hear or use certain phrases as liberally within their own culture . That said I can only hear c**t so many times before it starts to get a bit annoying, not because it's offensive but because it loses its vitality and power. Not sure I'd say it was sexist. Seemed to respresent a place where everyone trod on everyone else.

  4. Performance was great but it might as well have been in mime. Or maybe you need supertitles like the opera. Have been to Ireland three times, it is my favorite place on earth, but couldn't understand most of what he said.

  5. This was a compelling piece of theater performed by an amazing actor fully committed to his role . His physicality and intensity was utterly riveting. I feel privileged to have seen it. Don't know why some American's had a problem following the accent or language. His every move told the whole story. What theater is all about.

  6. I found the language hard at times: I thought "Maa" , when Ollie answers what he is burning, referred to his mother. Only when I learn of the Scabies do I know it is a matress. The community spills from one voice in this physical, captivating play...Irish through and through. "Luv" it.

  7. Excellent. Very entertaining......

  8. It was a great piece of art. Tom was beyond brilliant. How he kept up that pace....funny and sad story.

  9. Absolutely fantastic, we were delighted to have had the opportunity to experience this performance, enjoyed every moment. Amazing acting as always from Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.
    Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic. Thank you.


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