Dublin In A Rainstorm – Smock Alley Theatre – Review
Dublin In A Rainstorm by Lipzinc Theatre
The year is 1923. We meet a couple of charwomen, Anna and Margaret, in the basement of an inner-city house in Dublin. They’re folding sheets while discussing their lives. That is when Ann’s son Daniel arrives into the house carrying the lifeless body of a woman. He’s just pulled her out of the Liffey and they fear she could be dead. She’s a well-dressed woman, wearing fine clothes and jewellery. After a couple of minutes of trying to revive her, they give up and assume she is dead… but minutes later she bursts back into life to lead them on a journey into the unknown.
The production is set in the kitchen of the house. The set is simple but impressive, with a glowing fire on one side and a table and chairs on the other.
The first act of the play introduces all the main characters, with many people coming through the door of the house for a variety of reasons. There is much high jinx and elements of farce, as a number of characters are tied up, or chased around the stage. The second act is quite different from the first and is fantasy based, as elements of the occult are introduced.
This is a new play written and directed by Tzarini Meyler. It often helps to separate the roles of writer and director, as you get another opinion on the work. This is a hugely ambitious piece that spans over two and a half hours. It is always difficult to hold the attention of an audience for this length of time and the production does lag in certain scenes. The play has a large cast with each of the seven main characters contributing to the plot and having their own story to tell. While it is impressive to see a relatively new company try to tell a complex story, it may have been wise to focus on a smaller number of characters. Regardless of its flaws, it is a production that shows ambition at a time when many other theatre companies are struggling to compete.
WRITTEN + DIRECTED BY Tzarini Meyler
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR : Lucy Richards-Smyrk
LIGHTING DESIGN BY Cathy O’Carroll
SET + COSTUME DESIGN BY Ruairi MacMaoilir
SOUND DESIGN BY Thomas Dunne
Kathleen Warner Yeates
ENSEMBLE PERFORMERS: Lucy Richards-Smyrk, Juliana Hearty, Fiachra Corkery, Emmet O’Sullivan and Saoirse Carey