Celtic mythology has the last laugh in ‘A Dram of Drummhicit’ premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse

By Diana Saenger

Playwrights Arthur Kopit and Anton Dudley’s world premiere of, “A Dram of Drummhicit” opening May 17 at the La Jolla Playhouse, is based on an article in the London Times about fairies stopping a construction project in Scotland. Artistic Director Christopher Ashley helms the comedy that runs in the Mandell Weiss Theatre through June 12.

Kathryn Meisle, Lucas Hall, Jenni Putney, Gabriel Lawrence and Kelly AuCoin in La Jolla Playhouse's world-premiere production of A DRAM OF DRUMMHICIT, by Arthur Kopit and Anton Dudley, directed by Christopher Ashley, playing in the Mandell Weiss Theatre May 17-June 12. Kevin Berne.

The story evolves around Robert Bruce (Murphy Guyer from Broadway’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”), an American entrepreneur who is building a luxurious golf course on an island in Scotland. When major problems “arise,” Bruce beckons his “fixer” Charles Pearse to come to Scotland.

“It seems there’s a report about bog bodies popping up and stopping the construction,” said Lucas Hall, who plays Charles. “So I must fix the problem. And this is a real occurrence that happened around these islands, as the bodies buried there didn’t decompose because of the iron chemicals in the ground and they would occasionally pop up in the brine.”

Although it sounds like a horror story “A Dram of Drummhicit” is far from it. The hint’s in its title – dram meaning a “wee bit” and Drummhicit, a fictional name for Scottish ale. Also, many of the scenes take place in a pub.

Hall has performed Off-Broadway and in the tour of “The Merchant of Venice,” “Othello,” “The Hasty Heart” and “The Tempest,” among others and twice at the Old Globe. He said he couldn’t remember the last time he’s had so much fun working in a play.

Murphy Guyer and Kathryn Meisle

“Part of it is my character. He goes on such a wild journey. In the beginning, of course, I don’t believe in fairies, but at what point does one get over one’s cynicism and go with the flow because you believe it so strongly? I also love this story because it’s magical and mythical and the characters are so exciting.

“The story requires a big cast because it’s important to create the community of the town in Scotland, and who these people are. We’re lucky to use a lot of UCSD students — some have roles that were in the script and some are just used in pub scenes. I’m impressed by their abilities; they are all fabulous.”

Hall said the cast is also fortunate that playwright Arthur Kopit (“Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad,” “Indians” – Tony-nominee, finalist for Pulitzer Prize and “Wings” – Tony-nominee, finalist for Pulitzer Prize) is on the set. “He’s got the answers to anything and is so accessible,” Hall explained. “And there’s a great collaboration between Chris, Arthur and the actors. Having them on board to enhance a scene is great. Chris is wonderful at finding a moment and giving you one little note that opens an entirely different chapter into the character.”

Although the play contains strong language and some adult content, Hall is excited that “A Dram of Drummhicit” will appeal to a wide audience. “It’s beautifully written, really funny, and yet poignant,” he said.

If you go

What: “A Dram of Drummhicit”

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, May 17–June 12

Where: La Jolla Playhouse’s Mandell Weiss Theatre, UCSD campus

Tickets: $35-75

Box Office: (858) 550-1010

Website: lajollaplayhouse.org

Related posts:

  1. Mike Eagle is new chairman of the board at La Jolla Playhouse
  2. Volunteers sought for La Jolla Playhouse partners; meeting March 7
  3. La Jolla Playhouse announces fifth show of the season: musical ‘Finding Neverland’
  4. Playhouse seeks theater troupes for its residency program
  5. Handful of surprises in Playhouse’s upcoming season

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=41935

Posted by Staff on May 20, 2011. Filed under A & E, Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Celtic mythology has the last laugh in ‘A Dram of Drummhicit’ premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse”

  1. Florence

    Fabulous!! Must have been 20 men in the audience wearing authentic formal kilts.
    Sound, lighting and sets amazing. Funny, second half was hilarious! Key roles HIT it!
    UCSD student roles whether large or small were on spot!! Worth the ticket price.

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