Review: Medicine, Hope Theatre

Rightfully tough to take in its exploration of mental illness, Meghan Tyler’s Medicine impresses at the Hope Theatre

“You taught me the wrong things”

It’s a real gift to be able to write the kind of dialogue that manages to both leave you breathless with laughter and yet feel entirely rooted in believability. And as Ma bickers delightfully with her daughter Moira-Bridget over whether she’ll catch her death without a sweater, or the quality of the wine she’s nicked, or what they should drink that wine out of (I think this is the first play I’ve seen to mention Mooncups…), it is clear that Meghan Tyler has such skill.

But Medicine is far from just fun and games and banter, the full complexity of mother-daughter relationships is explored here, right down to everything that they share. Which includes a tendency to severe depression. We first meet the pair on Warrenpoint Pier in Northern Ireland, where Ma discovers Moira on the edge – quite literally – but though every part of her wants to do something, sometimes it is just impossible to help. Continue reading “Review: Medicine, Hope Theatre”

Review: Everything Between Us, Finborough

“He was like a real-life Morgan Freeman”

Though it might not necessarily seem like it, I do sometimes miss plays – David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue being one such example from last year, a rare moment of me deciding that I didn’t want to see it (only partly because I’d pretty much had the shock aspect of it ruined). Ireland is now being acclaimed as “Northern Ireland’s boldest contemporary writer” though and so the Finborough have opted to revive his earlier play Everything Between Us in their Sunday/Monday/Tuesday slot.

After decades of conflict, both politically in terms of Ulster as a nation and personally for sisters Sandra and Teeni Richardson who haven’t spoken in a good few years, the notion of truth and reconciliation seems a noble if unlikely one. But as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Northern Ireland sets up shop in Stormont with politician Sandra representing her Protestant brethren, Teeni comes crashing back in her sister’s life to force negotiations on that level too. Continue reading “Review: Everything Between Us, Finborough”