Murder of Crows – Theatre Upstairs – Review by Fran Winston
Theatre Upstairs, Eden Quay, Dublin 1 until December 17th
Monday – Saturday @ 7pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinee @1pm – Tickets €12/10
Writer Lee Coffey set the bar pretty high with his previous work Leper & Chip, which was hugely acclaimed. This tale also deals with young delinquents but here he does away with the Romeo & Juliet aspect by having three female protagonists.
Sam, Jess and Dee are friends who attend an inner city school. After one troublemaking incident too many they are sent on a weekend retreat with some other troublesome teens from various schools to try and curtail their behaviour. But far from being the boring punishment they envisioned it turns into a weekend that will change all their lives forever.
From the minute you walk in, the stage is very much set for a dark drama with one of the most interesting set designs you’ve ever seen and it has a hugely effective opening. Amilia Stewart, who previously worked with Coffey on the aforementioned Leper & Chip, takes on the role of Dee with Katie Honan and Aisling O’Meara joining her as Sam and Jess respectively. Although playing a defined role all actresses take on several other parts from fellow teens on the retreat to teachers and grandparents, and in most cases it is very successful. There are one or two characters that may be too similar to the character previously played and somewhat morph into each other but on the whole this works. This is thanks in no small part to the fantastic energy of the three ladies.
There is a huge amount of humour in this which makes the dark scenes all the more effective by contrast and Coffey builds the story and tension well. He even manages to include a twist at the end that certainly seemed to surprise many of the people at the show I attended.
There are one or two sections of this that are somewhat clunky although that could also just be in the particular performance I attended and not an ongoing issue. Overall though this is a fine piece of work that will move you deeply and bodes well for Coffey’s future works.
Lee Coffey / WRITER
Karl Shiels / DIRECTOR
Naomi Faughnan / SET DESIGN
Laura Honan / LIGHTING DESIGN
Laura Honan & Karl Shiels / SOUND DESIGN
Andy Carberry / PRODUCER