Slender written by Shane O’Regan – Review by Frank L.
Set deep in a forest somewhere in Ireland a young couple, Alex (Stephen O’Leary) and Rachael (Hilary Bowen-Walsh), are on a weekend break in a nearby hotel. At her instigation, they decide to venture deep into the forest, where it starts to rain. They stumble across a cabin in a lonely spot, which they decide to enter even though it is apparently occupied. Having made themselves to a certain extent at home the occupier, Fiachra (Shane O’Regan) arrives.
Alex has an ill father and he is keeping the family business of a musical shop going even though he is sacrificing his music career to do so. Rachael aims to become a barrister and to be involved in the fight for the oppressed of the world, but before she gets going on her career she wants Alex to go with her on a year long break to walk the Camino. Fiachra has been holed up in the woods piecing together his theory about a supernatural figure, the slender man, who is extremely dangerous but whose history crosses many cultures and centuries.
They are an ill sorted trio and a succession of squabbles break out between them as grievances, slights and jealousies get aired. But increasingly dominant is Fiachra’s obsession with the legend of the slender man. This will lead each of them into a place, both mental and physical, which is distant from their respective pasts.
The set consists of a back wall of four substantial panels upon which a small notice board sits festooned with scraps of papers, front left is a free standing shelf packed with various tins in front of which two black puddings and some emptied tins lay strewn. There are two chairs and a table. It is the central space of the cabin.
The opening dark scene of howling wind and some eerie bird squawking sets the tone of it being a remote place. Each of the actors is faced with a steep challenge as each lives a relatively conventional life outside of the cabin. A certain metamorphosis of each takes place within the cabin. A somewhat uneven pace in the opening scenes of the squabbles does not assist the drama. But it gathers a much more assured rhythm as it moves towards the end which is not conventional and certainly not easily predicted!
Slender runs at Theatre Upstairs until March 7th.
Dates / Times:
24 February 2015 – 07 March 2015
1PM Tuesday – Saturday
7PM Thursday – Saturday
Cast + Creatives –
Shane O’Regan / FIACHRA
Stephen O’Leary / ALEX
Hilary Bowen-Walsh / RACHEL
Writer / Shane O’Regan
Director / Ronan Dempsy
Producer / Jamie Hallahan
Visual Design / Ste Murray