The second leg of Gabriel’s Walking With Ghosts UK Tour took place August 24 – 28 at the Edinburgh International Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The play transitioned to Scotland well and everyone loved it–and Gabriel! The 5-star review below from the Edinburgh Reporter is proof! star
Gabriel Byrne’s one-man show reached Edinburgh for the first time outside of Ireland before travelling to London’s West End for a run in September at the Apollo Theatre.
Scotland’s capital is a good fit for Byrne, there’s a clear connection between the Dublin-born actor and the Scottish festival audience. When mentioning The Riordans, the Irish soap he appeared in during the late 1970s, he compares it to the Scottish equivalent Take The High Road. . .
Byrne has a gifted storytelling style which immediately opens up the imagination taking us back to 1950s working-class Dublin. It’s there he introduces us to a fascinating array of characters rich in language, one-liners and verve. . .
. . . he creates the buoyancy of a Dublin pub in his youth and there are comical stories about his pre-acting life working as a plumber, a dishwasher and a toilet attendant. It’s when a friend recommends he look into amateur acting that he finally finds a calling. After joining a travelling theatre company the actors take Byrne under their wing.
The 72-year-old summons that moment of epiphany, acceptance and finding his place in the world beautifully while bringing this travelling bunch of thespians to life. It was timely that the Irish actor should appear during this run of Walking With Ghosts as the King’s Theatre closes its doors possibly for the last time after news broke that plans for a rebuild have fallen financially short.
Byrne gave a powerful speech at the end of the run. He suggested a theatre is very much a spiritual place like a church and what a privilege it had been to tread the boards where the likes of Harry Lauder and many other great artists of our time have appeared. It was a heartfelt moment that was complemented when he asked the audience to join him in singing a few bars of Auld Lang Syne during a genuine moment of communion.
You never know when “your acting idol” is going to pop in for a cuppa! Lucky Fan in Edinburgh! heart
Next up: London at the Apollo Theatre, September 9 – 17
And then: Broadway! heart