The Few – The Glass Mask Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Emma Devlin

Writer: Samuel D. Hunter

Director: Rex Ryan

For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to visit the intimate Glass Mask Theatre yet, The Few would be a wonderful reason to do so. A surprisingly touching offering for the beginning of their fifth season, The Few is an 85-minute three hander that takes the audience into a trailer cum newspaper office in Northern Idaho, to meet a returning trucker, his bitter ex-partner, and the enthusiastic young man who has taken over his job.

The piece opens with the return of Bryan, played very genuinely by Jed Murray, to the newspaper office that he once founded and ran with his ex-partner QZ, fiercely and wittily brought to life by Elizabeth Moynihan. From the get-go there are wonderfully snide remarks from the jilted lover and pacifying and conciliatory retorts from the evasive returner; it’s clear that there is a lot of history to get to grips with and a mystery to unravel behind Bryan’s departure. The newspaper that they founded together is completely different now according to QZ, and there’s no way that Bryan is going to change that, and it’s here that the audience is treated to the first of many hilarious lonely hearts personal ads left on the office answering machine. The third member of the cast is introduced in the second scene, with Shane O’Regan bounding into the trailer like an eager young pup as Matthew, the young man who stepped in to fill Bryan’s role at the newspaper after his abrupt departure. Matthew brings an earnest warmth to the mix, as he fawns over Bryan and the history of The Few newspaper, irritating him but enlightening the audience to the personal and important reasons behind its founding. He has an important connection to Bryan, QZ, and the paper and he holds them all together over the course of the play.

A well-cast production, it is a joy to watch this ensemble interact with each other; Moynihan and Murray bounce off each other with the familiarity and tension of a once loving couple reunited against one party’s will, and O’Regan shines, a definite star with his awkward but endearing take on the role of Matthew. Though the audience is kept laughing throughout with some great jokes and gags, and even a BB bullet to the eye, the lasting impression is one of great depth; a genuine gaze into the abyss of loneliness, and what happens to humans who experience isolation. Emotionally the cast run the gambit, hitting notes of soaring hope and deep desolation, love lost and found and lost again, and the power of the written word to change a life.

The Glass Mask Theatre allows you to get up close and personal with the play; over a glass of wine or a bowl of olives. The great musical choices and a set and costumes straight out of the late nineties, thanks to Kathy Ann Murray (think that colourful clamshell iBook and flannel shirts), and the audience feels part of this world where lonely truckers are trying desperately to find connections. And it’s moving to say the least. Don’t miss it!

Runs until 25th February 2023.

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Lonely hearts lifted

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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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