Quietly (4 stars)

This article is from 2013


credit: Anthony Woods

Tough drama about two men with a violent past

Owen McCaffferty’s new play Quietly relies on silence and tension and very little fuss to present heart breaking personal dramas in an intimate but public setting. Set in a nondescript Belfast pub over the course of a football match, Jamie and Ian meet to battle their way through an event that took place 36 years earlier. The two men weave their tales, dancing around one another as they reveal their stories to only a non-judgemental bar keeper and the audience.

Patrick O’Kane as Jimmy is intensely watchable, his silences frequently revealing more than any dialogue could as he struggles to come to terms with the actions of a 16 year old boy who now stands before him as a man. The hope of forgiveness for the stupidity of youth and sectarian tensions loom large throughout and the pain of reconciliation for both men is uncomfortably and unambiguously displayed in the way they stalk the stage and each other. Quietly is tough and moving, and still able to ring true as much now as at the height of the troubles.

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), times vary, £17–£19 (£6–£14).


  • 4 stars

‘There’s more to the truth than facts.’ Belfast is a place where things need to be said. Jimmy and Ian are meeting tonight for the first time. They share a violent past. They need to talk. Quietly is a powerful story about truth and forgiveness. It premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in November 2012 and was nominated…