These three are a crowd-pleaser

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - Alan Chad­wick

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

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