- David Kettle
- 14 August 2017
This article is from 2017.
Virtuoso account of Enda Walsh's dark solo show on religious obsession
A man stands alone in his grimy, makeshift home, conversing endlessly with voices from the reel-to-reel tape recorders that surround him. This is Thomas Magill, self-proclaimed prophet of Inishfree, returning again and again to his secretly recorded conversations with the sinners of his small Irish town, whose failings he mercilessly notes, and whom he intends to force back to the ways of God. But when he encounters an angel, he sees hope for his own tormented soul.
Thomas Campbell gives a virtuoso performance in Australian Siren Theatre Company's hard-hitting production of Enda Walsh's 1999 solo play, and its themes of religious obsession justifying the most horrific of acts couldn't be more relevant today. He's a lithe, nervy performer, darting restlessly around the stage, yet there's a dark visionary hypnotism to his portrayal, too, as Thomas relives a quest for Jammy Dodgers for his Mammy, or a brutal response to a dog bite.
Misterman's climax might be inevitable, and predictable from Thomas's violent early actions, but it's no less shocking for that. Kate Gaul's direction feels a little breathless at times, as if more space might have allowed the horror of Thomas's utterances to sink in more deeply. But this is a gripping, finely crafted show nonetheless, one that crackles with dark energy.
C primo, until 28 Aug (not 14), 3.45pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£7.50–£9.50).