Shout it out

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QUI­ETLY Peacock The­atre, Dublin Pre­views un­til Nov 19 Opens Nov 20-Dec 15 8pm ¤18-¤25 01-8787222 abbeythe­atre.ie The Pol­ish bar­man Robert makes a sim­ple re­quest of his two cus­tomers in Owen Mc­Caf­ferty’s new play for the Abbey: “No trou­ble”.

You can un­der­stand why. It’s 2009 in a small Belfast pub, and on the TV North­ern Ire­land are play­ing Poland in a World Cup qual­i­fier. This gen­er­ates fric­tion among street kids out­side but stirs deeper mem­o­ries of vi­o­lence within. Jimmy, an in­tim­i­dat­ing man in his 50s, awaits the ar­rival of some­one he has never met, but whose past is in­ex­tri­ca­bly bound up with his own. There will be con­flict, di­a­logue and a wit­ness. How can we avoid trou­ble?

It would be too re­duc­tive to say that Mc­Caf­ferty, who writes in a voice both po­etic and de­motic, and varies his ap­proach to form from nat­u­ral­ism to el­lip­ti­cal glimpses and re­cently ver­ba­tim the­atre, is a drama­tist of the Troubles. Both his Clos­ing Time and Scenes from the Big Pic­ture dealt with North­ern Ir­ish peo­ple and pol­i­tics ei­ther metaphor­i­cally or with much wider scope, and while there is much acer­bic men­tion in Qui­etly of “truth and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion” it is as much en­gaged with the char­ac­ter of hu­man hon­esty. Peo­ple re­veal their life sto­ries with­out lift­ing their gaze from the TV while text mes­sages be­tween a cou­ple de­liver only half-truths.

Qui­etly ad­dresses a huge theme in a care­ful way – what needs to be said, and how we might say it. PETER CRAW­LEY

Can't see that? Catch this

The Yel­low Wall­pa­per Project Arts Cen­tre, Dublin

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