The Tide – New Theatre – Review
The Tide by Tara Maria Lovett
19th February – 2nd March
We meet Ivy as she is drying herself on the shoreline after going for a swim. She comes to the beach most days. While there she encounters JC. He is many years younger than her but despite their differences, they start up a conversation. They both have problems in their lives. JC has a stepmother who recently had a stroke. Ivy has a controlling husband that is slowly going blind. They both spend most of their time looking after these individuals. JC is a blunt young man who is more than a little peculiar. He suggests a solution to both their problems.
This is a new play written by Tara Maria Lovett which is produced by Whirligig Theatre. It is a black comedy and we travel with the characters from the first time they meet to the spawning of their plan and beyond. The play is a good, solid yarn and keeps the audience waiting for the next twist.
There are two cast members, with Ann Russell playing Ivy and Killian Filan playing JC along with a few other characters, such as a police officer and Ivy’s husband. Ann Russell as Ivy is very much the straight woman as Killian Filan is larger than life as JC, a young man who tells it like it is. His sneer and candid attitude are quite captivating and he is an engaging character.
There is a small sandbox at the front and rear of the stage which contains various half buried items. These items are used as props in the play, and the actors dig them out to use in various scenes. The play also features the use of video projections, which are mostly images of swimming and the sea, to set the tone in the early stages.
There is an obvious debt in this work to the 1951 Hitchcock classic ‘Strangers on a Train’ but other than the initial premise, it moves in a very different direction. The play has a strange mix of complex musings on life and comedic moments that pull against each other. Sometimes it feels like the playwright didn’t make a clear decision on what the play really was, but the strong plot line keeps the production moving. This is an enjoyable and unlikely story that has sufficient humour and freshness to keep you engaged throughout.
Written by Tara Maria Lovett
Directed by Pat Nolan
Stage Manager: Shannon Cowan
Set & Costume Designer: Mary Sheehan
Lighting Designer: Catherine O’ Carroll
Sound Designer: Pete O’ Neill
AV Designer: John Gunning
New Play Dramaturg: Pamela McQueen
Producer: Sine Lynch
Cast: Ann Russell & Killian Filan