Modern Ireland, ya’know?

Play: Shining City by Conor McPherson

Group: Cornmill Theatre Company, Co. Leitrim

Open section

After opening sentiments from festival secretary James Warnock and Seamus McNabb of Omagh District Council’s arts and culture sub-committee, the audience settled down for the opening play of the festival on Friday night.

The opening moments of a play, never mind the opening play of  a festival always suffers from a few moments of discomfort in my opinion, until the players and audience settle into the task at hand. The fact that Shining City opens to such discomfort anyway with a middle-aged man entering the upstairs office of a therapist for the first time only escalates the cathartic uneasiness of the audience. This perhaps made the opening scene difficult with broken sentences and stuttered interaction as patient John, on the cusp of breakdown struggles to explain to inexperienced therapist Ian why he is there. You can only feel that this is the very point McPherson wants to stress throughout the play, broken communication, characters struggle to say what they really mean.

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