The Weir by Conor McPherson
directed by Ciarán O’Reilly
Extended through August 4th at Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22 Street, NYC
The curtain rises on a remote country pub in Ireland. Be ready for an evening of banter, jibes, blowups, supernatural tales, and devastating confessions. The regulars–the owner and the youngest bachelor, Brenden (Billy Carter), Jim (John Keating) who lives with his ever-ailing mother, Jack (Dan Butler) an elderly, scrappy fellow, and Finbar (Sean Gormley) the only one who is married. And, wouldn’t you know it? it’s the married man who is bringing a young woman from Dublin in for a drink, which galls Jack no end. Enter, the stranger, Valerie, (Tessa Klein) with her own tragic and otherwordly tale. It may take you time to catch onto the dialect, but you’ll get there if you’re patient.
A weir is a dam in a river or a net set in a stream to catch fish, good metaphors for this pub where folks fill their loneliness with a pint or two without moving on. And yet, after this intimate, soul-baring evening, you feel as if everything is about to change.
This is a play about the Irish storyteller, not only the stories they tell, but how they are delivered–the dramatic gestures, the growing intensity of tone, the stories that cast spells, create connection, and ultimately heal. VISIT