Rhyme time at the Paramount Theatre

Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 10, 2011

Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus at the Paramount Theatre in Boston
TALE OF A TRIO Terminus is delivered in monologues, with brio. 

From venerable Dublin,
The Abbey comes troublin’
A new play to show
By one Mark O’Rowe,
A working-class bloke
By Tallaght bespoke.
In the grace of his spiel
He’s no Brian Friel,
He’s never a tonic
Like Martin McDonagh
And Ireland’s not nursin’
A new Conor McPherson,
But he says shit and feckit
Like Mamet and Beckett,
And he’s far from a dog
At the long monologue.
Writing and directing,
And truth vivisecting,
He’s requested immunity
To rhyme with impunity
With the hope that loquacity
Will equal veracity
In this tale of a trio
That’s delivered with brio.

At first a fog looming,
Barely audible booming,
As if this were a slaughter
Taking place underwater
Leaving us in a panic
Like the folks on Titanic.
Mirror shards in their places,
Bright lights in our faces,
And the noise level ramping
With a loud heavy tramping.
“This American shit’s the pits”
is how Terminus splits,
Its middle-aged portion
Awash in abortion
As spit by a wary
Olwen Fouéré,
Her environs disinfecting
As she tries reconnecting
With a friend who’s with child.
The outcome is wild,
A murderous spree
Unrestrained in degree
As her natural propensity
Culminates in immensity.

Actor two, Catherine Walker,
Is a bit of a balker,
She’s bored with existence,
Shows little resistance.
Her mundane banality
Has the ring of finality:
“I sort through some bills,
The telephone trills.”
Microwaved shepherd’s pie
Makes her poor stomach sigh;
Should it fall from her plate,
Appetite will abate.
(What, no 10-second rule?)
At the pub, she’s no fool:
She rejects her selection
By a false friend’s erection.
But pranks on a crane’s arm
Would lead her to great harm,
If a Demon didn’t catch her
And after that match her
In unwedded bliss
(No Harlequin Romance this).
They make love unsquirmy;
Never mind he’s all wormy.

Actor three, Declan Conlon,
Is a man who likes fondlin’.
A shy little fecker
Always out with his pecker
Who in order to croon
Gives the Devil the moon
Or rather, his Soul,
A pact with a toll.
Our boyo’s a gay blade,
There’s many that he’s slayed,
And rather than duck
He takes off in a truck.
The gardaí won’t nab him
But his Soul could still stab him,
Or rather, eviscerate
If he doesn’t commiserate.
In mid air he’s flying
All too soon he’ll be dying,
Yet you know he’s no piddler
When he belts out Bette Midler.

It’s all very hardcore
You just might not want more
Of the guts and the gore,
Of the blood on the floor,
Of the slicing and dicing
(There’s even some ricing),
Of the farting and pissing
And absence of kissing.
O’Rowe’s rhymes are persistent
But not always consistent;
(Hey, isn’t it “Ugh!”
To rhyme “pub” and “mug”?)
His writing is blabby
And frequently flabby.
His efforts don’t honor
The lilt of O’Connor
(You want it in short?
Read Frank’s Midnight Court.)
So he namedrops the Bard,
It isn’t that hard,
And Ms. Newton-John?
Well, that one was wan.
(“I doubt I can live another minute
Without her in it.”)
But the actors are hot
(Dec’s the best of the lot),
And the tableaux they make
Would be worthy of Blake.
O’Rowe’s sharper and tauter
With Mother and Daughter,
And of Heaven and Hell,
The sublime and the smell,
He tells rather well.
Don’t believe me? Well, shit,
Just go and see it.

TERMINUS
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY MARK O’ROWE | WITH OLWEN FOUÉRÉ, CATHERINE WALKER, AND DECLAN CONLON | PRESENTED BY THE ABBEY THEATRE AS PART OF 
 ARTSEMERSON’S IRISH FESTIVAL AT THE PARAMOUNT THEATRE THROUGH FEBRUARY 13

  Topics: Theater , Paramount Theatre, theater review, ArtsEmerson,  More more >
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