Director: David Horan
Writer: Paul Meade
Reviewer: Ciara Murphy
Loosing a job is a difficult period for most people, but no one ever speaks of the bruised pride, diminished masculinity and depression that coincides with being “made redundant”. Faith, presented by Guna Nua Theatre in association with The Civic Theatre, brings these issues to The Civic Theatre stage and forces the audience to look at them square on.
Michael, played by Don Wycherley, has been redundant for seven months. Now playing the rôle of ‘stay-at-home-dad’ and ‘house-husband’ life has lost its lustre. His marriage to wife Maeve (Jennifer O’ Dea) reaches its ultimate challenge as he decides to seek medical help for his depression. The “process” of healing is torn asunder however by the newfound friendship that transpires between Michael and a philosophical ‘single-father’ who he meets outside the crèche. Chris, played by Michael Glenn Murphy, offers Michael a new job and a lifeline. What ensues is a battle for personal freedom, but who will win?
Like many plays with a multi-locational structure, the set plays a large rôle in its success. Designed by Maree Kearns the set moves from domestic, industrial and public spaces with flawless ease. The tension, specifically the notion of height, conjured by this set gives the action onstage a sense of real danger and consequence. The world of the play is constantly changing and the setting provides a solid backbone to the piece.
Wycherley and Murphy work together with a chemistry that endears their characters to the audience and they nail the many comical moments that are present in the production. Wycherley’s portrayal of Michael is so cleverly done that right up until the final moments of the show, the audience are still in doubt as to what kind of man he really is. Meade’s script is clever and very conscious of its subject matter. His representation of marriage, and the consequence of depression on the family unit is raw and real. Sadly the onstage chemistry doesn’t work between Wycherley and O’ Dea as well as it could. O’Dea’s portrayal of Maeve is slightly stale and as a result their story becomes slightly lost.
Delicate, clever and real, Faith succeeds in bringing under-represented notions of masculinity to The Civic Theatre stage.
Photo courtesy of The Civic Theatre. Runs until 8th March and touring nationwide until March 29th.