The Weir*** (Donmar Warehouse, 10 May 2013)

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Theatre

Conor McPherson’s play is set in a rural Irish bar in which four male regulars encounter a female newcomer to the area. For more than an hour, the five stand around telling each other spooky tales, drawing from Irish folk lore; whilst this is happening, the characters are developing, but the play is in desperate need of a stimulus to drive it forward and prevent it from becoming an infallible cure for the worst cases of insomnia. Then, miraculously, the tales become personal and the characters open out, climaxing in a final 30 minutes that is deeply moving, during which fine performances from Brian Cox and Dervla Kirwan begin to look like great ones. Peter McDonald, Ardal O’Hanlon and Risteard Cooper are also excellent, fleshing out their characters perfectly.  This play is about belonging – to places and to people – and, ultimately it packs quite a punch. It is just a pity that it takes so long to get going.

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