John's disdain for city life is effectively danced in a robotic, staccato style that visually hammers home the idea of the urban landscape as a soulless impersonal space where a man can easily lose his way. The dance displays the alienation and loneliness of the urban space where the rush and coldness of the city is dramatically portrayed. Later, Harding utters Moriarty’s damning indictment of this kind of life, “ I fell in love with a girl in Dublin, but what can you compare your love to in a city ? You can hardly say, ‘You are as beautiful as the GPO’ or, ‘You’re as lovely as the bus to Clontarf’. Whereas in Connemara when you fall in love , every single thing around you, the mountains, the lakes, the sky are all metaphors for love.”
Harding’s portrayal of the philosopher/poet was exceptionally true to Moriarty’s voice and persona and it really fleshed out the words taken from Johns writings and delivered with uncanny faithfulness to his rich warm Kerry timbre. To the question can a Cavan man speak Kerry, the answer in this case is a definitive yes! It seemed to me that Moriarty was strangely present throughout this performance , as it was such an affectionate and sensitive homage to a wise and gentle soul.
Central to Moriarty’s thinking was Crossing over Kidron ( John 18:1) as Jesus did, entering the garden of Gethsemane and commencing the chain of events leading to His Passion and Crucifixion. In the redemptive narrative of the Gospels , John found his own salvation and identified closely with Christ’s abandonment on the cross causing Him to cry out ‘My God, oh my God, why have you forsaken me ?’ This aspect of John’s understanding was absent from the Siamsa drama and at least one theatre-goer was disappointed at what he considered this glaring omission. After the play the audience had the opportunity to interact with the writer and a gentleman who had travelled from Italy to see the production ,told of a meeting with John Moriarty several years ago that had a profound effect on his own life. Speaking with John and subsequently reading his works, this man had found his ‘salvation’ through the author's exposition of the profound implications of Jesus death and resurrection. He understandably felt that this bulwark of Moriarty’s ideology should have been referred to in the play. I think however, that Harding’s ‘Moriarty’ was not so much a potted digest of John’s ideas as the depiction of a man in a simple domestic setting, his head aflame with dreams and ideas which he sought to live out in a straightforward and ordinary manner in the community in which he lived. This ‘human’ element of the piece would draw in even those unfamiliar with the large and often difficult body of Moriarty’s writings..