On Blueberry Hill, Trafalgar Studios - ★★★★★ - Until May 2, 2020

Photographer: Marc Brenner.

"Though we're apart, you're part of me still" goes the song. Separation cannot break some bonds. Parent and child are indivisibly linked in Sebastian Barry's play, but can one reconcile with someone who has tried to break that bond? Two men in physical and mental prisons look at where life and death have brought them. Social impositions of self-loathing and vengeance are challenged by the recognition of a common humanity but can they find it? It is hard not to see this very thoughtful, and often humorous, piece as a metaphor for the challenges that Ireland has faced in its recent cruel and divisive history; however, it always remains a fascinating insight into two flawed, yet surprisingly sympathetic, characters. The story may be dark but its eloquent script makes it riveting. Sebastian Barry's mastery of the language is positively Shakespearean. The two prisoners' rich and comic recounting of their lives keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as the time flies by. The performances of Niall Buggy as Christy the rough, but supportive father, and David Ganly as PJ, the torn and confused seminarian are simply master classes in acting. They rise to the occasion offered by Barry's great rhetorical flights. Their monologues make us deeply care about these two people while sharing their triumphs, joys and remorse. You will definitely be thrilled by On Blueberry Hill.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until May 2, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Thu & Sat: 2:30 pm
Trafalgar Studios
Nearest tube: Charing Cross
https://trafalgar-studios.com/shows/on-blueberry-hill/

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