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.
So there’s a real feeling of anticipation about this revival of his 1980 drama, Translations, a major play which has enjoyed an enormously good international reputation since its first staging at the Guildhall in Derry, Northern Ireland.
You only find round beds with pink satin sheets in particular places or owned by particular people. But it’s safe to say that a woman wearing a full, fur-suited mouse costume complete with face/head mask is not one of these.
Already sold out before it had even opened and announced to be transferring to the West End in June, the combination of Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem, Mojo amongst others) and director Sam Mendes seems to have set the public imagination alight.
Ex-IRA member Quinn Carney and his family have gathered to bring in the harvest. The celebration stretches back centuries and brings the extended family together, so Quinn’s house is crowded. Along with his wife Mary and their 7 children, his brother Seamus’ wife Caitlin and her son Oisin have lived with them for the past 10 years since Seamus disappeared.
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.
Oh dear. The first play explicitly about Brexit is being staged by the National Theatre in a production that has all the acrid flavour of virtue signalling.
New play about a deranged Ulster loyalist begins in hilarity and ends with some horrific violence.