The Weir, 140 Review

Dervla Kirwan Valerie in The Weir Photo by Helen Warner 3

The Weir by Conor McPherson at Wyndham’s Theatre

Dervla Kirwen made me cry. She was acting at the time. I’ve never cried at the theatre before, so it took me by surprise. I’d had a tough week. But mostly it was Dervla.

The Weir is intimate, funny and awkward in places, on purpose. Watching the old, ugly rivalries between locals be exposed to a newcomer (Kirwen) in the run-down, desolate pub is as uncomfortable as it is amusing. The ghostly stories told by the drinkers are mostly compelling. Occasionally the accents lost me for a word or so. The five actors work beautifully together. I wanted someone to punch Finbar, but this was clearly intentional.

Bleakness, abandonment, remoteness permeate the play. There is an ember of hope, kindness displayed, shared understanding of grief.  The warmth (and smell) of the peat-burner can’t combat the encroaching cold and darkness without.

 

Booking at Wyndham’s Theatre until 19th April 2014. Highly recommended.

Photo by Helen Warner.

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