Posts Tagged ‘The Knowledge’

I broke my rule of avoiding midweek matinees and sneaked off to The Bush Theatre for this otherwise sold out new play which has had great reviews. I’ve already missed three sold out hit shows this year (Accolade, The Knowledge and Ecstasy) so I was buggered if I was going to miss a fourth.

Well, it wasn’t really unmissable, but you never know that if you don’t see it. It’s a good play, but not in the Mogadishu league, so not  a great one. 45 minutes in I really was wondering what all the fuss was about. A charming presentation of family life in an Irish home. Dad was dead, mum was bonkers and the long-lost brother was a bit of a mystery; all positively normal where I come from.

Then it turned as the history was revealed. We learn why the brother has been estranged, why the dad might have died, why the mother may be ill and the why the respective positions taken by the two sisters are initially different but eventually merge. Even though the run is over, I won’t spoil it by saying more – it might turn up somewhere else at some other time…..

A realistic kitchen in such a small theatre guarantees a voyeuristic  intimacy, though when there are seven actors on stage, you do see a lot of backs. It’s a very good ensemble; I was particularly impressed by Maeve Fitzgerald as Niamh and Karl Quinn as Dave. The staging is somewhat conventional, except for some flashbacks.

When it got going, I found the play intriguing with an odd combination of realism and surrealism. I think it’s structurally weak, taking longer than it needs to instill the sense of security necessary to spring surprises and the flashbacks are a bit clumsy.

Good but not great. Worth seeing but not unmissable.

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