The Weir

By Connor McPherson

  • The Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Director: Susan Williamson
  • Set and Costume Design: Kevin McAllister
  • Lighting Design: Marsha Sibthorpe
  • Stage Manager: Pamela Jakobs

    Venue:Granville Island Stage
    Dates: 17 October - 16 November 2002

    Reviewer: Jane Penistan

    Set in a rural Irish pub, The Weir introduces a new character to four old drinking buddies. This new friend is a lady from the city. Suddenly there is a woman in the cozy bachelor "snug", and one to be impressed by the barkeeper, Brendan (James O'Shea), and "the regulars", Jack (Henry Woolf), Jim (John Huston) and Finbar (Stephen Dimopoulos). The interesting stranger is Valerie, played by Jennifer Wynne Webber.

    It is a dark night and the wind is rising. The four men reminisce about bygone nights like this. Jim and Finbar tell gruesome tales of bygone eccentricities of former acquaintances, each trying to outvie the other, and getting their stories endorsed by Brendan, who keeps the stove stoked and supplies his customers with their usual draft until the cellar supplies fail and the drinkers have to make do with bottled beer.

    The lady surprises the company by requesting wine, but Brendan is able to fill this unusual order. Valerie, who seems to be a woman of mystery, tells her story, to a rapt audience. The last narrator is Jack, who sits by the fire with Valerie after Jim and Finbar have departed into the storm. This is an intimate scene and Jack's warm personality is at last allowed to become evident. Finally, Brendan damps down the fire and he and Jack escort Valerie into the wild night and the future.

    To tell the stories would be to spoil the enjoyment of the play. The mysteries have to be heard from the speakers themselves. Some of their accents are questionable and not always identifiable, but the characters are always defined. There could have been more joviality between the old acquaintances and a greater sense of familiarity. Only Jack established a real sense of friendship.

    The set is an undistinguished bar in an undistinguished inn. It could be anywhere in the English speaking world. The lighting is well managed and enhances the action of the play. Introductory and entr'acte flute music is charming and Celtic, while the opening of the upstage door to the outside is accompanied by the sound of wind and rain, enhancing the comfort of the interior.

    The Weir is an intriguing and entertaining play.

    It runs at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnson Street, 17 October - 16 November 2002 at 20.00. Monday through Saturday with matinees Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2.00 p.m. Tickets are Monday evenings Adults $29, Seniors $26, Students $19. Tuesday - Friday evenings Adults $36, Seniors $31, Students $23. Saturday evenings all seats $38. Matinees Adults $29, Seniors $26, Students $19.

    For Tickets and Reservations, call the Box Office 604.687.1644/Telus Educational Subsidies contact Group Sales at 604.687.5315 Ext. 243 for information.

    2002, Jane Penistan


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