‘The House’ Review Tuesday July 10th
When I think of plays, due to how we learn them in secondary school, I immediately think of READING a play. The difference between reading and seeing a performance is so dramatically different however, that I had preconceived notions of the text when I went to see The House earlier on this evening. So many elements of a text can fly by you without properly registering them until you see the performance. This is exactly the case when I saw this production. The writing transgresses my original idea of the text and I could fully appreciate the richness of the language, the comedic elements that can escape you in reading, and the experience of being in a room full of people who appreciate the art of dramatic performance for what it is.
The programe highlights the plays relevance to today’s world and I am going to emphasize it’s point here - emigration is the essential theme of the play, as well as a diaspora of people who are not at home because they have left their country, and people who have come ‘home’ to somewhere that they can no longer relate too; the idea of not belonging to anywhere. The house represents a home that is a home no longer. It shows how their is a lack of solace in emigration. The audience around me proves the relevance, an elderly woman talks to her neighbour of her daughter who is home from Australia for holidays - proving Murphy’s ability to deal with topics that are not fixed to one particular point in time.
The production values are of a high standard which one would expect from the Abbey, scene transitions are smooth considering the constant location changes and the performance by all parties is convincing. Declan Colman as Christy in particular has a strong on stage presence, and Peter, played by Frank Laverty, provides a highly funny and memorable character. As well as these, Cathy Belton and Eleanor Methven, Marie and Mother respectively, deliver noteworthy and moving performances.
Overall the evening was entertaining and thought provoking, and as Peter put it, “I’d a smashin’ fuckin’ time”.