Art & Design

   

A Skull in Connemara

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It’s exhuming time for the town’s gravedigger Mick Dowd (Chris Bunworth) and with apprentice Mairtin Hanlon (Tom Barton) in tow, the two unearth skeletons and secrets from the local cemetery; including the grave of Mick’s late wife Oona.

Local gossip legend holds that Oona died from more than a drunk-driving accident with Mick at the wheel, and seven years later it’s still unknown if her death was a result of intoxication or of intent. Bunworth is both sympathetic and sinister as Mick Dowd, never making it easy to decide whether or not he is guilty and innocent.

Described as Quentin Tarantino meets Edward Albee, Martin McDonagh recaptures the violence, humour and darkness of the Ireland of his childhood. The diffident small town of Leenane in 90s Ireland is an unescapable setting. Casey-Scott Corless’ multi-functional set expertly splits from cottage kitchen to an eerie, misty graveyard in a matter of seconds.

Marg Downey is wonderful as Mick’s bingo playing neighbour, Mary Rafferty, and her skill for character is highly commendable. David Cameron’s direction is adequate, with the only fault being a text issue where it can become difficult in places to follow pace and style of the piece.

The play is certainly comedic however the humour can be difficult to follow in the often dense script. That said, the irreverent skull smashing scene set in Mick’s kitchen is alone an impressive piece of theatre.

A Skull in Connemara is playing at forty-five downstairs until June 15.
For tickets visit fortyfivedownstairs.com.


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