History is a prison. Often, you can’t escape. It imprints its mark on people, environments and language. And nowhere is this more true that in Northern Ireland.
There’s little for the cast to improve because the faults in Aristocrats lie with Friel. This production draws-out all of the core themes but cannot overcome the play’s reliance on heavy exposition and failure to satisfactorily resolve its own questions about the past of these characters.
As Ireland moves into a new era, Brian Friel’s play remains at the heart of debate – how can a country maintain its essence while embracing the modern world?
Set in rural County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in August 1981, the play takes place in the Carney home. This is a farming family, who grow cereals for export, and the head of the household is Quinn Carney (Considine), a former IRA man.
Revival of Sean O’Casey’s modern classic shows its continued relevance, but is a bit meticulously sombre.