The Seafarer, written and directed by Conor McPherson, is about a bunch of Irish drunks talking banalities with not much happening.
The entire cast is terrific, with an outstanding David Morse at its center. But boring small talk and quaintness has short appeal for me, and Irish drinking isn't actually funny to me. (For the past five years, I have regularly worked directing and performing at a theater in Derry.) Half an hour into this play, I still didn't know what it was about besides mocking these poor men and their moronic behavior and subjects. What's wrong with me? I don't find humor in alcoholism or interest in boring exposition.
At the end of Act 1, Beelzebub comes for the soul of Morse. Ah ha! So in Act 2 they play cards with the Devil. Do you want to hear about drinking bouts and diarrhea? Do you want to listen to boring card talk as they play on and on? Then the Devil begins to speculate on spiritual matters, and it gets interesting, and even weird when Hell is described as freezing. Oh, and music is the Devil's Achilles tendon. Glad to know that.
Set and costumes by Rae Smith are just right, lighting by Neil Austin enhances everything, but it's all a trick - great performances with full characterizations in a play where nothing happens for hours.