Theatre review: The Weir at the Lyric theatre

Much has been written about this play by Conor McPherson which is set on a stormy night in The Weir, a public house in the West of Ireland.

There are five characters each with a story to tell, some are lengthy and some are short, all are tinged with the supernatural.

The men each have a standing in the community, batchelor Jack (Marty Maguire) owns the local garage, Jim (Frankie McCafferty) works with him and lives with his ailing mother, Brendan (Patrick Ryan) runs the pub. and Finbar (Garrett Keogh) is the successful businessman with money and prestige.

It’s Finbar who brings a pretty Dublin girl (Kerri Quinn) into the bar to introduce her to the boys. Valerie has bought an old house on the fairy road and intends renovating it and living in the village, much to Finbar’s delight!

As the evening progresses so do the stories of graveyards, the supernatural and the ouija board. Although the men are silenced when Valerie tells her tragic story, it’s Jack’s testimony that proves the most memorable, a man who lays bear his life to a girl who just might be his future.

There’s humour in the play, the craic between the men is typical of the Donegal pubs I know but I didn’t get the chill factor. The set is authentic and well lit but the fire looked dead, the wind dies away too soon and the ghosts didn’t lurk in the corners and despite a bright white light coming through the door at the end of the evening, the barman offers a torch to light the way home. Disappearing into a cold, bleak, black night would have been more effective.

Thought provoking play, as one of the men says, ‘a strange little evening’. Under two hours and no interval.

Anne Hailes


At the Lyric Theatre Belfast


30th September 2017 with Saturday and Sunday matinees.

Post Author: Belfast Times

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