The Crow’s Way – Peacock stage, Abbey Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Milly Burke Cunningham

Devised by: Moonfish Theatre

Movement Director: Mufutau Yusuf

The Crow’s Way is a lovely piece of ensemble work, the cast play fluidly in sync. This show presents all the beauty of youthful curiosity, encouraging the audience to embrace that curiosity, and break free of the stagnant, unimaginative quality of rituals. And to question, what exactly is the purpose of rituals; and why can’t we change them?

Zita Monaghan as the overbearing, power-driven mayor in the village of Ballyfeen is a delight to watch – she seamlessly transitions from screeching to donning her best ‘radio voice’. Similarly Sean. T. O’Meallaigh’s rural radio presenter caricature is played to perfection. Jeanne Nicole Ni Ainle and Seoirsin Bashford are equally the picture of innocence in this piece, though their performances did not entirely match their castmates. The most enjoyable moments were those had in the forest with the Rebel Princess (played with natural ease by Christie Kandiwa) and her three faithful mice bouncing around the stage.

The Crow’s Way beautifully embraces the Irish language, presented almost as a gift to the audience. The play opens with a choreographed movement piece by the ensemble, which felt a bit isolating as an opener – but as the play progresses, their movements feel more connected to the story. At times, the movements interrupted the dramatic tension and detracted from the flow of the piece, though it also managed to forge elements of the story together.

What struck me most about The Crow’s Way was how much of an audio-visual wonder it was. Ikenna Anyabuike’s sound design was stunning – heartwarming in one moment; sinister the next. I felt it was carrying me on the story’s journey. The Irish language with its musical quality intermingled with English throughout the play worked well and one can’t help but feel something akin to the character of Cuan – marvelling at the beauty of it. It was wonderful to hear Irish being spoken on stage, we don’t hear it enough. The lighting was also beautifully done, everything was sprinkled with a touch of playfulness. It felt freeing to watch a show like this, something so full of fun and yet still with an important message at its core. Messages can have so much impact when wrapped up in a story.

Runs Until 23rd September 2023.

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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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