An Absurd Tale at Fringe

Author Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman might not be the most well-known Irish classic, but his absurd tale of time and the nature of existence is one of Ireland’s most darkly hilarious novels. Director John-David Johnson has adapted the story — which involves a narrator who botches a robbery and ends up in a bizarre version of hell where people are often half bicycle — for the stage, and his production premieres tonight as part of the Boulder Fringe Festival.

“It’s a real challenge to adapt a footnote of a footnote for theater,” says Johnson, laughing. “But even though language is the core, the humor is the part that will carry in people, so we tried to bring that out.” The source material is wildly absurd and often difficult to follow, but Johnson’s mixture of live action and media should help break up the dense story. “We divide it into two distinctive worlds, the mediated and the hell world, which makes it easier to follow,” he says.

The Third Policeman plays tonight at 7:30 p.m. and runs through August 25th at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; admission is $14. For information and showtimes, visit
Aug. 19-23; Thu., Aug. 25, 2011

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Thorin Klosowski
Contact: Thorin Klosowski