Thursday, 6 March 2014

'The Weir' Wyndhams Theatre ****

According to my sources I've heard that Josie Rourke's revival of the highly successful Donmar Warehouse production ‘The Weir’ seems to have not hit its sparkle in this West End transfer. However as this is my first attendance of this play I found the entire experience to be vastly intriguing. The casting alone is a brilliant choice as they seem to appear to be right for the roles in which they are playing. It feels that the Irish are taking over the West End Theatre world with the musical theatre productions ‘The Commitments’ and ‘Once’ entertaining audiences at the Palace and Phoenix Theatres and now ‘The Weir’ at the Wyndhams Theatre seems right on cue for St Patrick's Day. There seems to have been a gratifying atmosphere within the performance as we, the voyuers, have been allowed to sneak into a conversation between four ageing man and a single woman in a traditional Irish bar. It becomes clear that there is a mystery and horror story around this community that expresses three themes; silence, regret and grief. The narrative throughout this evenings events seemed to take its time to fully engage with. I found the monologue sections were quite rushed and not genuine whatsoever. Brian Cox’s portrayal of the garage owner, Jack felt uncomprehensive as the accent he tried to convince us with bounces between the Irish flow and some of the English, RP exudes through this. The show seems to have been incredibly successful in being able to adapt from an intimate space is a vast one. I thought that the play remains very haunting and gothic. There seems to have been a mixture of styles here through naturalism to the supernatural, but it definitely works. The entire original Donmar cast have returned to their roles and for me they do a grand job. Peter McDonald's shy natured bartender Brendan is very well charaterised. Ardol O'Hanlon's reserved odd job man, Jim is outstanding and incredibly amusing throughout. Dervla Kirwan is wonderful as the very pretty newcomer to the area, Valerie. I can't really fault their performances as the vocal and movement delivery is quite captivating, apart from Cox. The work of its writer, Conor McPherson seems to still encapsulate and audience and it feels that the Donmar Warehouse does produce a good standard of theatre making. If you want to be entertained and haunted at the same time then this is the one for you.

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