Plenty of hoo-doo and hilarity make ‘A Dram of Drummhicit’ a hit at the La Jolla Playhouse

By Diana Saenger


Barely four lines of dialogue are spoken by performers in Arthur Kopit and Anton Dudley’s world premiere of “A Dram of Drummhicit” at the La Jolla Playhouse when the audience erupts in laughter. But then why wouldn’t they laugh? You will too when you hear the story of people in a small Scottish town who believe in fairies (even though no one has ever seen one) and who deal with bog bodies, some well preserved after 2000 years, that continue to pop up out of the ground.

Kathryn Meisle, Lucas Hall, Jenni Putney, Gabriel Lawrence and Kelly AuCoin in the pub scene from ‘A Dram of Drummhicit’ premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse through June 12. Photo Kevin Berne

Charles Pearse (Lucas Hall) has never heard of such things until he arrives on the island. Charles is a “fixer,” hired by conglomerate owner Robert Bruce (Murphy Guyer) to clear any obstacles that would keep him from his plans to build a world-class golf course on the island.

At first, Charles is welcomed with open arms, as the townsfolk have already been blessed with some seed money from Bruce to put them in a receptive mood. Reverend Hagglehorne (Larry Paulsen) is excited to see Charles and friend (Joseph Culliton), so he can show them the bodies in his church basement that have “popped up on the bog like a pimple,” and that they, too, will have to deal with.

YouTube Preview Image

Paulsen sets the tone for this comedy as he fidgets over trying to stop his aide Nick (Daniel Rubiano) from using profanity in front of his guests. At one point, Paulsen is so animated, he fires off his lines so fast he gives Bruno Tonioli (judge on “Dancing With the Stars”) a run for the best laughs.

After a trip to the pub, Charles tries to recover from a shot of the island’s disgusting trademark ale, Drummhicit. There, he’s forced into Island Jeopardy as bartender Mackenzie (Kelly AuCoin) pointedly questions him about the golf course project. Slowly Charles begins to realize not all is as it appears in this whacky place.

Murphy Guyer and Kathryn Meisle are about to find out if you can golf on fairy property in Scotland. Kevin Berne.

British museum worker Felicity (Kathryn Meisle), who hopes to add the bog bodies to the museum’s collection, goes into detail to Charles about the lore of the land — the floating bodies, fairies on the island, and the mysterious washerwoman. It seems when she appears someone will die.

This is a short play, so between blinks, Charles and barmaid Fiona (Polly Lee) are soon nestled under the covers together. What’s really funny about this scene, more than the fact her dad (John Ahlin) sits in a chair at the end of the bed watching them, is Fiona’s explanation about how she knew Charles was a fairy like her.

Just when things start to make sense, in marches a funeral procession for the town fool, William Ross (Alan Mandell). Because Charles saw the washerwoman with a shirt like William’s, he believes he’s the next to die. William sits propped up on pillows in a wooden casket waiting for that moment.

What happens next, is best left to the fairies. Suffice to say, the cast of “A Dram of Drummhicit,” under the direction of Christopher Ashley, does a great job of keeping the audience in stitches.

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


Related posts:

  1. Celtic mythology has the last laugh in ‘A Dram of Drummhicit’ premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse
  2. Let’s Review: Pageant dream is a win for family down on its luck in ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ at the Playhouse
  3. Mike Eagle is new chairman of the board at La Jolla Playhouse
  4. Volunteers sought for La Jolla Playhouse partners; meeting March 7
  5. Playhouse seeks theater troupes for its residency program

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on May 23, 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

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Author, illustrator to launch new children’s book at Solana Beach Library August 30, 2014
    Meet author Tonton Jim and illustrator E. Felix Lyon as they launch “Harold and the Hot Rod” (Hound’s Glenn Series Book Two) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Solana Beach Library. There will be readings from the book, illustration demonstrations, Q & A with the author, illustrator and publisher, and refreshments and door prizes. […]
  • San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Rick Schmitt’s Monthly Update August 30, 2014
    On behalf of our Board of Trustees, I want to welcome you and our 12,400-plus students to the 2014-15 academic year. The start of a new school year is always exciting. We have spent the summer eagerly preparing for your student’s return on Aug. 26 and look forward to sharing new learning experiences with each of you. For parents/guardians whose students are […]
  • To your health: 5 questions to ask your new doctor August 30, 2014
    At some point, nearly everyone will need to choose a new physician, perhaps because of a change in insurance, a move to a new city, or simply a feeling that it is time to make a switch. Your relationship with your physician is perhaps one of the most important in your life, and you want a provider who is not only highly knowledgeable and experienced, but als […]