The Visit – Dublin Theatre Festival – Review
The Visit by Deirdre Kinahan
Venue – Draíocht, Blanchardstown
Date(s) – 14-16 Oct, 8pm
Rose has had a difficult few years. Her husband Stephen died two years ago. He had a heart attack while driving his car along the motorway. Stephen was a difficult man, very controlling and penny-pinching but she still loved him. Her two grown-up children have left Ireland to make a new life overseas, so she is alone in Ireland. She decided to join a club and that’s where the choir came in. It has become the centre of her life and she’s made some great new friends. Things are looking up for her until she receives a visit from a man that will change her life forever.
This is a new play written by Deirdre Kinahan, which is based on her previous work YES, written as part of Draíocht’s Home Theatre (Ireland) Project in 2018. The subject matter has been reworked and extended to a 70-minute duration. The play was inspired by the time Deirdre spent with Maureen Penrose, her Home Theatre host. The Home Theatre (Ireland) Project allowed 30 playwrights and theatre-makers to spend time with a Host, who was simply someone who lived in the locality of Draíocht in the D15 area. The playwright then wrote a 20-minute play which was performed in the home of the Host. The project was well received and spawned a large number of new short plays.
The Visit is a one-woman play with performer Mary O’Driscoll on stage for the duration. She is dressed as a cowboy and talks directly to the audience telling them about the last few years of her life. She is about to perform with her friends in the Community Clown Choir, a group of amateur singers. The stage is filled with cacti and other paraphernalia of the Wild West, as the performance of the choir is based there. The play contains a number of short musical interludes as Rose readies herself for her first time on stage, later that evening. She is filled with nervous energy about taking to the stage for the first time. There is warmth and honesty about the performance, and the whole story feels quite believable. The performance of O’Driscoll carries the work, making the audience take Rose to their heart.
Cast & Creative Team
Directed by Veronica Coburn
Performed by Mary O’Driscoll
Sound Design: Sinead Diskin
Set & Costume Design: Deirdre Dwyer
Lighting Design: Eamon Fox