The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy III: The Deliverance
It's all about the words
This article is from 2015.
Like the first two instalments of the Trilogy, Stellar Quines' The Deliverance is a solo performance by Maureen Beattie. An elaborate set – the stage is transformed into the interior of a church, complete with burning candles – houses a monologue that ranges across the life and pains of the protagonist's family, while Beattie's character tries to reconcile her mother with her son.
Delving into childhood memories, with an appropriately caricatured stepfather, the woman reflects on how she, and her sister, were displaced by her half-brother. Her longing for her father, and the abuses of her stepfather, are weaved together to perhaps get at the heart of her alienation. But despite Beattie's impressive performance, the script by Tremblay, and translated by Shelly Tepperman, is less poetic and incisive than in the previous episodes.
It's even predictable in its litany of misery: God is accused of absences, men are more valued by their mothers than the sisters. John Byrne's design is beautiful, Beattie holds the attention and there are moments of exquisite detail in the text, but the strong storytelling never explodes into expansive theatricality.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 25 & 26), 2pm, £12.50–£14.50 (£11–£13).