This article is from 2008


Angels, demons and reincarnation from the master of the monologue

‘I still like the Catholic religion even though I don’t believe in God,’ says Mark O’Rowe, the Dublin master of the monologue. That may or may not explain why the latest play by the author of Howie the Rookie and Crestfall is what he calls a ‘fantastical thing about demons’. A more likely explanation for his lapse into magical realism is that, once he started writing Terminus, his imagination took over.

‘In the play I break my own rules anyway,’ he says. ‘You’ve got angels and demons, which is very Catholic, but you’ve also got a side-order of reincarnation, which is nothing to do with Catholicism.’

Directed by O’Rowe himself for the Abbey Theatre, the play is made up of three monologues that take us from the dizzying heights of a Dublin crane to the cruel depths of a sex murderer. Throw in a free-form rhyming scheme and a taste for the supernatural and you have a production that’s been an unlikely hit in Dublin and New York. ‘It’s like The Terminator,’ says O’Rowe. ‘If you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. It works in the story, but it’s a bit ungraspable.’

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, 3–24 Aug (not 11, 18), times vary, £16–£18 (£11–£12). Previews 1 & 2 Aug, £11 (£5).


  • 4 stars

O'Rowe's rhyming prose, delivered with consummate control, tells a Dublin set metaphysical tale of murder, suicide and accidental death - not to mention angels and demons - in a manner less distressing than it sounds. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.