Truth, Love or Promise – Viking Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Claire Galligan

Writer: Nuala McKeever

Director: Dan Gordon

In the opening of this play we are introduced to three very different women- Brenda, Maureen, and
Joanne. The women live in Belfast in different neighbourhoods, and come from very different
backgrounds – but the women could be from anywhere. We have met them all in family, in class, in our neighbourhood. The women have joined a creative writing class to search for meaning and continuity in their lives. Their stories are very different, yet connected and universal.

The playwright and actress Nuala McKeever in this one woman play, situates and explores loss, grief, friendship, recovery and acceptance in the women’s shared stories. One of the characters says
‘Pain takes up all the room …. All the oxygen’. Over time, the women begin to face their pain directly and honestly through their writing rather than postpone their feelings, as they did when they first come together in the writing class.

The production and performance is not melodramatic or maudlin. This is not ‘a sad night out.’. We are treated to vivacity, fun and warmth. The director Dan Gordon uses the stage space three – dimensionally to embody the essence of each character and to portray the distinct physicality of
each woman. Nuala McKeever is a superb craftswoman; she chooses distinct gestures and idiosyncrasies’ to reflect each character’s persona; so that the audience can identify instantly with each woman as they emerge in lightning succession.

Catch this production if you can. You are guaranteed an engaging evening of entertainment in 70 minutes, and a wonderful theatre experience.

Ran Unitl 1st 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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