Review: The Ferryman

The Ferryman 2

Ten things about The Ferryman that took my breath away*

1. The wonderful, sprawling ensemble cast, led by Paddy Considine as patriarch-of-sorts Quinn Carney. I couldn’t fault a single performance and each actor gets their own moment in the limelight, but Laura Donnelly in particular shook me to my core.

2. The child actors, of whom there are four plus a baby (yes, a real baby! Delightful!). Despite being tasked with roles with real narrative weight, the young actors had impeccable comic timing, nailed Irish accents that often outshone those of the pros, and never once became annoying. A theatrical miracle.

3. The presence of multiple live animals on stage. A script filled with livestock must strike fear into the heart of any director but man did the fluffy creatures go down well with the audience.

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Review: How To Hold Your Breath

How to Hold Your Breath

Photo by the Royal Court theatre

‘So what’s this about then?’ asked the friend who I’d enlisted to accompany me to the theatre. ‘Well… it’s got Maxine Peake…and I think it’s about sisters? And something to do with immigration?’

I must have read the description of the play on the Royal Court’s website five times in the week leading up to the performance. Truth was, I just couldn’t retain the information. I had absolutely no idea what the play was about.

Writing this now, I’m only marginally more confident.

At the centre of the play are two sisters, Dana and Jasmine, who live in Berlin. When the play opens, Dana has just slept with a man who may or may not be the devil and who may or may not have just cursed her for refusing payment for sex.

Somewhat predictably, it’s all downhill from there.

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