Writer: Matthew Ralli
Director: Matthew Ralli
Reviewer: Ciara Murphy
On July 6th 1907 the Irish Crown Jewels were discovered missing, presumed stolen, from their safe in the Bedford Tower. Now, 107 years on in 2014 the “seven loose ends” are brought back together in front of a modern jury and supernatural inquisitor Verity White, played by Margaret McAuliffe. The linguistic connection drawn from the name Verity (deriving from the latin for truth) is not lost on the audience and it is clear that no one will get off lightly in her court of truth.
What comes across mostly about Deeds of Deceitis how extensively it has been researched, something which grounds the supernatural characters in reality, allowing the audience to make an informed decision on each one of them. The script is clever, funny and well delivered for the most part by all cast members. For such a large cast it is sometimes difficult for everyone to shine though but Ralli’s script allows for an intimate knowledge of each character and a wide breath of personalities. The only difficulty this reviewer had was with Michael James Ford’s portrayal of Francis Bennet Goldney, the Athlone Pursuivant, as at times his delivery was a bit too hammy, and unfitting with the remainder of the performance. Stephen Swift’s portrayal of Sir Arthur Vicars, the Ulster King of Arms must be given special mention as his performance was truly flawless and it was clear that he gained the hearts of the audience.
The set speaks for itself, with no designer needed Speckintime’s choice of venue is perfect. The soundscape was minimal and unobtrusive. Designed by Carl Kennedy, it inconspicuously illuminated certain moments of tension within the piece.
The final moments of the piece are its most interesting as the audience, inactive until now, attempt to make the final judgement about who truly stole the Irish Crown Jewels. As hands raise and decisions are made, it is clear that after a century of questions, deceit and research this is a crime that may never be solved.
For history buffs, theatre enthusiasts and everyone in between Deeds of Deceitis a fantastic way to experience one of Dublin’s most impressive venues while taking part in a truly wonderful theatre experience.
Photo courtesy of Speckintime. Reviewed on July 6th.