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Eden – Decadent Theatre – Review

Eden – Decadent Theatre – Review

This play was written by Eugene O’Brien in 2001 and was first performed in the Peacock theatre. It won the Irish Times Best New Play of the Year Award along with the Stewart Parker Prize. The play has even left these shores, with performances in the West End and Broadway.  O’Brien is still probably best known as the writer of Pure Mule, which was first screened on RTE in 2004.

Eden is set in the midlands of Ireland where we meet a married couple in Breda (Maeve Fitzgerald) and Billy (Patrick Murphy), along with a multitude of characters that live in their community. The couple has been married for ten years and their relationship is starting to fall apart. Billy largely ignores his wife, instead, he focuses on Imelda Egan, a local woman who is significantly younger than him. Breda is still deeply in love with her husband and will do anything to get his attention. Now that she has ‘lost the weight’ she hopes things can get back to what they once were. Eden is the story of one traumatic weekend in their lives.

The story is told as two interwoven monologues, as the two actors tell their version of events over the weekend in question. The writing is sharp and at times very funny. It is easy to see how this play continues to resonate with audiences as it gets to the heart of small-town life in Ireland, with talk of pubs and the characters around the town. Patrick Murphy plays Billy as a largely self-absorbed soul who thinks he deserves better than the life he’s ended up with. Maeve Fitzgerald is hugely impressive as Breda, a woman trapped in her small world that just wants the love of a good man! It’s a story that continues to intrigue some twenty years after it was written when many other works have long since disappeared from view.

Cast and Creative Team
Written by Eugene O’Brien
Directed by Andrew Flynn
Set Designer Ger Sweeney
Lighting Designer Ciaran Bagnall
Composer / Sound Designer Carl Kennedy

Starring Maeve Fitzgerald as Breda and Patrick Murphy as Billy

Irish Tour – Remaining Dates:

Town Hall Theatre, Galway
Tue 2 & Wed 3 November

Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Laois
Thu 4 November

Source Theatre, Thurles, Tipperary
Sat 6 November

Theatre Royal, Waterford
Tue 9 November

Glor Arts Centre, Ennis, Clare
Thu 11 November

Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo
Fri 12 November

Town Hall Theatre, Westport, Mayo
Sat 13 November

Backstage Theatre, Longford
Wed 17 November

Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Louth
Thu 18 November

Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Cavan
Fri 19 & Sat 20 November

Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Mayo
Wed 24 November

Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo
Thu 25 November

Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Kildare
Sat 27 November

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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