So Where Do We Begin? – Smock Alley Theatre – Review
28 Jan – 2 Feb | 8pm | 3pm matinee Sat 2 Feb | Boys’ School
David (Matthew Malone) is a Jungian psychoanalyst. He has just been referred a new patient, Sinead (Charlene Craig), by her GP Julieann (Megan Riordan). Sinead turns up at David’s door for a brief conversation before she decides whether to pursue the treatment. After a short introduction, David talks about the type of work he does and his hourly rate. Sinead seems perfectly nice but in the conversation she hints at something quite mysterious. Sinead doesn’t have any run of the mill problem, in fact she claims to have a strange power. Is she delusional or does she have this extraordinary ability?
This is a new work written by Seanan McDonnell that probes the world of psychoanalysis and memory. The play is produced by Sugar Coat Theatre company, who previously brought us The End of in the Fringe Festival in 2017, again written by McDonnell. This work is very different though and tries to expose something dark and enigmatic.
The play has three actors but they are rarely, if ever, all on stage together. The action takes place in David’s office, where he talks to the two women, one his patient and the other his friend and colleague. The set by Naomi Faughnan is a well created psychoanalyst’s office, complete with leather couches and a book shelf stuffed with suitable lengthy tomes.
The play is complex and it is quite a workout for the actors, as it discusses archetypes and other concepts of Jungian philosophy. The acting is very impressive and all three deal well with the intricacies of the dialogue. The play is quite cerebral, possibly too much so at times, and there is a lot to digest in this new work. The ending felt a little too neat and could have been left more open to interpretation, but this is a smart and funny new work that deserves your attention.
Written by : Seanan McDonnell
Directed by : Aoife Spillane-Hinks
Produced by : Charlene Craig
Cast : Charlene Craig, Matthew Malone, Megan Riordan
Dramaturgy by : Tanya Dean
Lighting Design by : Conleth White
Set and Costume Design by : Naomi Faughnan
Sound Design by : Jack Cawley
Stage Manager : Jemma NicLochlainn