" ' Well Cornelius, so you'd like to make money. Want you to look out and down there. Wall Street and the harbour of New York. Like you could wipe your feet in it. What put us way up here.'
'Well I guess the elevator.'
'Boy, I'm talking on a different level.'
"Ingenuity. It's a word we use around here. Say it.'
'Ingenuity.' "

- J.P. Donleavy from A Fairy Tale of New York

Ian Shuttleworth
This review first appeared in City Limits May, 1991.

"Fairy Tales of New York"
Warehouse Theatre, Croydon - Opened May 2, 1991

by Ian Shuttleworth

J.P. Donleavy's knack of writing English, Irish and American idioms with equal fluency is employed with fine results in this 1961 quartet of snapshots of returning expatriate Cornelius Christian. Cornelius's acquired English drawl is set against the hustle of Noo Yawkese and the inevitable Irish-American scallywag's brogue, as his fortunes rise and fall almost with the barometer. The sketches are deftly fashioned, retaining their warmth and humour after three decades, and the company revel in the breadth of their numerous characters.

Patrick Ryecart gives an understated screen performance with makes Cornelius seem even odder in those surroundings than the script suggests, and the women's parts need considerable development before they become even token: but if it's unpretentious diversion you're after, this will do nicely, sir.

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