FACTORY SPACE THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
Reviewed by Ben Oxley
credit: Factory Space Theatre Company
Written by prize winning playwright Anne Devlin
Directed by Roz Riley
(12th April to 3rd May, 2014)
Perhaps they’re right. After all, she is having visions, despite being an atheist. But they aren’t much better off. One sister is married, unhappily. The other won’t marry at all. Their brother is married to his art. Their cousin is married to God. And Dad’s dead, but he still has a lot to say.
A journey to the heart of an unravelling family – with a little fishing and shootin’ along the way.
Directed by Roz Riley
at the Star of the Sea Theatre, Manly
Fri & Sat 7.30 evenings, and Sun 3pm matinees, 12-13 April, 25-27 April & 2-3 May
Tickets $35/$28 from trybooking.com or 94391906
Cast: Mitchell Cox, Ciaran Daly, Eilannin Dhu, Imogen French, Laura Gailbraith, William Jordan, Celia Kelly, Karoline Rose O’Sullivan and Ros Richards.
This is the first play of Factory Space’s 2014 season, which will span three productions. This is the 14th year of professional productions for the Factory Space Theatre Company – and the fifth as resident company at Star of the Sea. And a fine theatre it is too.
The general vision is often both comic and dark. The vision is also a feminist view of women asserting themselves over men. Note to self: why are there so many Irish men at the pub?
Throughout, the visions come to Greta, sometimes disturbing the action, sometimes not. The Flynn family tears itself apart by the time the children grow up. The parents lived a lie, staying together out of commitment rather than passion.
Consequently, the sisters have a negative vision of their family’s way of life. The mother, Rose, beat some of the children. Rose’s life is a struggle but motherhood empowers her and because she is conventional and hard-working she feels her life is successful. Greta's mental stress, a suicide bid and breakdown are due to her childhood and marriage disenchantment.
The performances are strong, focussed and riding the emotional wave of the drama. Karoline Rose O'Sullivan maintains an innocent charm as Greta, creating sibling tension with Aoife, played by Celia Kelly and the bossy Helen (Eilannin Dhu).
Sister Bethany struggles to deal with Greta's visionary gift, proving an unhelpful guide to spiritual understanding. Manus (Ciaran Daly), the young fiddler and Ros Flynn (Ros Richards) give us the remaining family, at pains to reconcile to the impending loss of Michael, their father.
The play is optimistic in the sense that it is a search for identity by the main character Greta and her sisters. Eventually Greta’s search for security, love and the understanding of her own identity overcome the pain.
The final scene shows Greta returned to serenity and blissful motherhood as she tells her baby a fairytale. This affirms the good in her life; the mystery is restored.