Haunted – The Peacock Stage, The Abbey Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Emma Devlin

Writer: Tara Flynn

Director: Phillip McMahon

With Haunted, Tara Flynn takes the audience on a journey through her mind. Weaving together three themes; her father’s death, her experience during and after the Repeal campaign, and the stories of Biddy Early, Flynn opens up with a vulnerability that is as often tear jerking as it is hilarious. On a stage furnished with one single armchair that is at times a car, a podium, a wall, Flynn takes full ownership of the space and draws the eye wherever she goes. This is a play that is centred around grief, but it delves so much deeper than that; in one hour Flynn takes herself apart and then puts herself together again before the audience’s eyes, going from the safety of the floor to basking in the sun, and everywhere in between, and asking crucial questions about women who speak their minds and the way that the world has always treated them.

The writing is well thought out and it’s nicely paced, the transitions between the themes feel natural and it all hangs beautifully together. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, but they’re balanced with thought provoking ones, and ones that tug expertly at the heart. The simple but effective set design by Molly O’Cathain leaves the focus where it belongs – with Flynn, and great lighting and sound choices, by Sinéad McKenna and Jenny O’Malley respectively, transport the audience to all the different corners of her mind.

It’s hard to leave this production without feeling a little changed; closer to grief, closer to celebration, closer to Flynn, but all in all fairly glad that she didn’t feckin’ die.

Runs until 3rd December

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The Reviews Hub - Ireland

The Ireland team is currently under the editorship of Laura Marriott. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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