Talking Movies

October 31, 2019

The Beacon

Filed under: Talking Theatre (Reviews) — Fergal Casey @ 5:03 pm

Druid return to Dublin with another premiere in their year of new writing, but this underwhelming show at the Gate is less successful than Epiphany.

Colm (Marty Rea), the estranged son of feminist artist Beiv (Jane Brennan), has dropped in to her island retreat, with his new American wife Bonnie (Rae Gray). This is a surprise to both Beiv and local friend of the family Donal (Ian-Lloyd Anderson), who is working on renovating her cottage. Beiv is surprised because Colm never mentioned he was getting married, and so pointedly didn’t invite her, unlike Bonnie’s parents. Donal is surprised because he and Colm were lovers during Colm’s many summers at the island. But unpleasant surprises abound on this Cork island as a true crime podcast is dredging up the mystery of what exactly happened to Colm’s father; the rich divorced husband of Beiv who willed everything to her, and promptly, despite renown for seamanship, set off for a midnight yachting jaunt never to be seen again…

Francis O’Connor deserves enormous credit for his set of what Colm decries as Beiv living in a glass box; vividly creating a living space dominated by the rushes, the nearby sea, and the glory of the long summer sun. The other elements of this show are far from as confident, even Rea struggles to maintain top gear with the material he is given. There is a great sucking sound shortly after the interval as all the momentum drains out of the play never to return. Scenes go on too long, far too often to no purpose, and neither the characters nor the mystery ever feel developed to their full potential.


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