Sunday, July 21, 2024

Powerful drama at the Festival

Shining City by Conor McPherson
Bejou Productions

This play about regret and guilt is set in the Dublin office of a fledgling psychiatrist (Ian). It follows Ian’s relationship with his new patient – John – who believes he is being haunted by his dead wife who died in a car accident. We slowly learn details about the lives of these two men during the course of the play, their relationships, infidelities, insecurities and secrets.

Adjudicator Paul Fowler stressed that because of the darker mood of this play, truthful performances are essential and a talented and dedicated team is needed to make it work. He felt that this group’s production was well worth their efforts. He praised their “terrific” set which allowed freedom of movement which was “magnificent” throughout the play. The costumes were well thought through with subtle changes that worked well. The same comment was made of the lighting used throughout the production.

He said that he felt in safe hands with this production. There was great attention to detail and wonderful changes of atmosphere and moods, parts of it “beautifully fluid”.

Praise was given to the Director, John White, but he said that although this play had been faultlessly directed you need a good group of actors to achieve your goals. Ian (played by Jonathan Peters) gave a very human and well rounded performance. John (played by Jeremy Battersby) was a very demanding role but Jeremy gave a very powerful and clever performance. Neasa (Joanna Masters) was very natural and believable and Laurence (James Adams) was, again, very believable and relaxed.

To quote Paul Fowler, he was “impressed, moved and on all too rare an occasion we get to see a magnificent tour de force like this”.

I think he liked it!!

Lisa Chapman


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