Quietly tragic relationship drama
This article is from 2008.
This piece, co-authored by Declan Feenan and Clara Brennan, opens on an early morning scene involving a couple (Jot Davies and Kate Donmall) living in a rural Northern Irish community, which segues into a day sometime later, when the male half of the couple has suffered an accident, leaving him both physically and mentally disabled.
Dan Sherer's production features striking sound design by Steve Mayo, which alternates between sounds of nature and the mad, grinding noises of urban life and juxtaposes the sound of the sea with such modern nightmares as screaming aeroplane engines. We are brought to reflect upon the banal chatter of a relationship which might have reached its frayed end, or might be simply tense on one particular day as, later, no real conversation of depth can take place, and the feeding of birds is the only feature that can make the couple connect.
There's a quiet kind of tragedy underneath the action, which starts a little too slowly, but builds to a powerful climax. There are strong performances from the actors, particularly Donmall, who packs her helpless trapped wife with emotional nuance. For all that, the piece makes few observations about relationships that aren't already familiar.
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