Helen Warner

The Weir

One of the best plays we saw at the theatre last year was the Donmar’s revival of Conor McPherson’s The Weir. Punchy, playful yet beautifully nuanced performances by an excellent cast (including Dervla Kirwan, Brian Cox and Ardal O’Hanlon) made for a compelling, unsettling balance of laugh-out-loud craic and gnawingly haunting melodrama. And we’re thrilled that it is transferring to the West End – so for anyone who missed it, we urge you to book now.

The story meanders through one wet and windy night in the isolated wilds of Ireland, when a band of local men gather in the pub to share their stories and gently rib and rile each other. But their low-key banter and bristling is sent off-kilter when the local boy-done-good rocks up with a rather attractive woman in tow – a newcomer to the area, one not exactly priming with prospects. Why has she come? What is she running away from? The elaborate tale-telling escalates into a jostlingly wild competitiveness, but the ghostly myths lead the gathered crowd down an unexpected and chilling narrative cul de sac.

We loved it, in all its complex, unnerving, unexpected glory. It’s one of those plays that ambles along in jovial fashion, while the exquisitely-drawn characters slowly unravel, before delivering a series of sucker punches you won’t forget in a hurry.  Book.

The Weir
16 Jan – 19 April 2014
Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0DA
£12 - £87
0844 482 5120
— Beatrice
31st December 2013