Posts Tagged ‘Wunmi Mosaku’

David Ireland’s absurdist black comedy is one of the most unpredictable plays I’ve ever seen. It had me laughing uproariously one minute and turning my head in horror moments later. This is great theatre.

We first meet Ulsterman Eric with his black female psychiatrist. They don’t get off to a good start as he refers to her with the n word. We know this session follows some sort of crime or incident, but at this point we don’t know what. In flashback, we go to the start of his psychotic journey, when his daughter brings her newborn baby home, on to a meeting with a UDF paramilitary and from here it becomes ever more absurd and ever more horrific until a conclusion which tests the strength of your stomach.

Ireland uses the black comedy and the absurdity to send up the irrational and illogical bigotry of this protestant unionist very effectively, though I’m not sure I’d recommend they transfer the play to Belfast, where it is set in Cyprus Avenue, apparently a middle class suburb – we’re not dealing with your average politicised bowler-hatted unionist marcher here. It twists and turns and really does shock and surprise you.

Stephen Rea is superbly deadpan when conveying the most ridiculous views and theories, but turns viscous in an instant. Chris Corrigan is a much more manic unionist paramilitary; desperately funny. Wunmi Mosaku provides contrast – detached, non-judgemental, in control, with the occasional subtle display of her inner feelings. Terrific performances all round.

This is David Ireland’s tenth play, but the first I’ve seen (and the first to get a production in London?) and it has certainly whetted my appetite for more. One of the best nights at the Royal Court in a long time. If you’ve got the stomach for it, be sure to see it.


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