The Weir – Pavilion Theatre, Dublin

Writer: Conor McPherson
Director: Andrew Flynn
Reviewer: Clara Mallon

The ability to formulate stories is unique to the human condition. The art of storytelling is what gives us a shareable understanding of our existence. This idea is one of the main themes resonating throughout Conor McPherson’s multiple award-winning play The Weir.

Decadent Theatre Company brings their new production of McPherson’s piece to the Pavilion Theatre Dun Laoghaire. Although nearly two decades since this play first premiered, it is not hard to see why it’s making a comeback. McPherson’s simple and effective plotline delves into themes of loneliness, isolation and the supernatural through the art of storytelling.

The play begins and Owen MacCarthaigh’s set design immediately immerses the audience into the naturalistic setting of a typical rural pub. The shabby and simplistic aesthetic encourages a casual and relaxed atmosphere, setting an ample tone for the characters ghostly exchanges.

In the main, the five cast members execute the fine balance between that of playful banter and more serious talk of death and the supernatural. Garrett Keogh’s Finbarr allows for comic relief as this fuss-pot, talkative character fails at his many attempts to steer conversations to less serious subject matter.

The piece relies heavily on conversational language to establish relationships between characters. And at times the connections between storyteller and listener becomes lost. However, for the most part, Andrew Flynn’s direction ultimately creates a sense of community between characters. Within the play’s aftermath, there is a definitive feeling that we have witnessed so much more than a connection between strangers.

Decadent Theatre Company’s The Weir not only offers a night of chilling encounters, half-hauntings and personal hardships. The piece also establishes a fundamental sense of community, acceptance and connection between five unlikely characters by the play’s close.

Runs until 30 June 2016 | Image: Pavilion Theatre

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