Hollow Ground – Theatre Upstairs – Review


Hollow Ground written by Katie McCann – Review by Frank L

The siblings, Hazel (Katie McCann) and Graham (Rex Ryan) stand on either side of the stage facing the audience. They do not communicate with each other. Each in turn speaks to the audience. They are standing on a railway track, a lonesome place. Behind are six vertical rows of thirty light bulbs each. On a couple of occasions these light bulbs blaze so brightly that averting the eyes is the easiest option. They are blinding for just a few seconds in their intensity. Their widowered father has just died. Hazel has left home sometime ago but is about to return for the funeral. Graham has never left home. He tells us that he is alone in the house with the laid out corpse. Each of the brother and the sister is in their own lonely place as they face into the funeral.

Each recites their memories about their family life where the death of their mother, when they were eight years old, has left scars. Graham finds socialising painful; Hazel less so but she is distant with company but she tries, at least, to have a veneer of bonhomie. Both actors have successive monologues where they reveal the reality of their upbringing and their current hopes and fears as they handle the various individuals with whom they must deal. This requires considerable skill from the actors as each must vary the pace and tone of their delivery to keep the audience engrossed in what is not a happy tale.

Hazel has one or two lines which allow for a grim sense of humour to peek through. Graham has no humour to help him. He has to rely entirely on his ability to tell his tale as he endures it. McCann and Ryan are to be congratulated in keeping the audience gripped by their different deliveries as they make sense of the loneliness in which they find themselves.

Find out more about Hollow Ground here.


10 March 2015 – 21 March 2015

1PM / Tuesday – Saturday

7PM / Thursday – Saturday


Cast + Creatives 

Katie McCann / HAZEL

Rex Ryan / GRAHAM
Writer / Katie McCann

Director / Karl Shiels

Set Design / Laura Honan

Lighting Design / Eoghan Carrick

Composer / Derek Conaghy

Visual Design / Ste Murray

Producer / Megan O’Flynn


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