Through a Glass Darkly – Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Director: Annie Ryan
adaptation: Jenny Worton
Reviewer: Clara Mallon

The Corn Exchange comes to the Project Arts Centre Temple Bar. The play is an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning film, Through a Glass Darkly 1962. Adapted for the stage by Jenny Worton, the piece tells the tale of protagonist Karin’s (Beth Cooke) mental deterioration. Set on an island retreat, the events unfold within an Aristotelian frame of 24 hours.

Karin along with her family experience individual mental anguish; contained within the boundaries of a shared collective, which is represented through the metaphor of the Island. Although each character suffers individually, their troubles are interconnected. Bergman’s original film is famously compared to the works Augusto Strindberg’s “chamber plays”. However, at times there is a static quality to the live action within this production, perhaps pointing to the difficulty in adapting motion picture for the stage.

Sarah Bacon’s set design lends the piece a contemporary aesthetic which contrasts with the naturalistic dialogue throughout the performance. Sinead Wallace’s lighting design and Denis Clohessy’s sound complement the narrative and illuminate her gradual deterioration and final descent into mental instability. Beth Cooke plays a naïve and restrained Karin.

Overall the piece offers an interesting approach to adapting for the stage. Thematically there is plenty of food for thought.

Runs until 5 December | Image:Fiona Morgan

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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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