These three are a crowd-pleaser
Mark O’rowe’s new play for Landmark Productions arrives at the Fringe on the crest of a wave of positive reviews from Ireland. and it’s easy to see why.
an intriguing, psychological slow burner, centred on the shifting sands of time relationship between three women, it’s a remarkable change of pace and metier for O’rowe (Howie the Rookie; Terminus), whose work tends to feature in-yer-face theatrical fireworks.
Of course it helps that the minimalist designed production, directed by O’rowe, boasts the stellar talents of three of Ireland’s finest actresses – Cathy Belton as Cora; aisling O’Sullivan as anna, and Derbhle Crotty as anna’s sister Debbie – who turn in an acting master class here.
Set in a Dublin cafe, The approach focuses on a round robin series of exchanges between the women at different times and stages in their lives, as they meet, chat, have coffee, and depart.
It sounds downbeat and hardly meaty dramatic fare, but the undercurrents running through each exchange, where what is left unsaid carries as much weight as what is said, are electric.
It’s about masks we put on for other people, how we often end up on the periphery of lives that once seemed so central to our own.
Piece by piece O’rowe slowly puts together the jigsaw puzzle of their lives in duologues, showing us their vulnerability and ultimate disconnect.
We find anna spitefully berating the sister she no longer talks to due to what she considers an act of ‘betrayal’ concerning a lover both had. Later, the air thick with reconciliation, the pair meet but cannot find it in themselves to open up fully or truthfully.
Intricate, thought-provoking and not to be missed. l Assembly Hall, until Sunday
Candid: Cathy Belton, left, and Aisling O’Sullivan revealing secrets and lies during a poignant discussion