Brian and Gemma are on their second date, when they meet an older couple in a restaurant in Dublin. The older couple are amazed that Gemma is so much like Veronica in appearance. Veronica is the daughter of their employer who died a number of years previous. They invite Brian and Gemma back to their house in Ranelagh to see a photo of Veronica, and to show them the room where she lived. Once they arrive in the house, the young couple are drawn into an unusual world where motives remain unclear.
The play is set in the bedroom where Veronica once lived. It is a simple space and contains a bed, locker and other parts of an average bedroom from the 70’s, including the records and jigsaws that she once played.
The four main actors play a number of roles, all slightly different versions of the same character, so you are never quite sure of the motivation behind their actions, or whether to believe them or not. In the early part of the play, some of the actors did not seem age appropriate for the parts they were playing, which detracts from the piece, although there are possible answers for this later in the play. It is the type of story where you wonder are the events actually taking place, or are they in the mind of the main protagonist and you have to wait for the finale until it all becomes clear.
It is a dark and curious tale that leaves the viewer on unsure footing, and you are left grasping for clues. The various strands in the play dangle loose throughout, and you are worried that they will never be successfully pulled together. Ending a play well is one of the more difficult things to do, but this piece does it with some style. It has a well crafted and eerie conclusion that elevates the piece to another level.
This is the debut of Norwegian theatre company Folken Teateret in Dublin.
Duration: 60 minutes with no interval.
Veronica by Folkenteateret
Directed by Oddvard Kvaal Pedersen
Cast: Leah Minto, Ailis Leavy, Joe Jennings and Sean Doyle
Chancery Lane – June 2nd-6th, 6.30pm, June 7th, 2pm and 6.30pm
Tickets are €12 (with free beer or wine)