In the drizzling rain and wind, audience members gather outside a Georgian mansion on North Great George’s Street. The elements, it seems, have conspired to provide a fitting backdrop to what will be a somewhat disturbing pilgrimage into the history of a place.
Chipped plaster and whining staircases, water splattering as though from cracked pipes, candle light casting shadows of human figures on the walls: the property declares its age.
“My name’s Mary and I’m forty, and I live just off Frances street’, says a figure, marking the beginning of a journey through rooms and stories gone before. The tales, in themselves, are uninteresting but Louise White and Kate Nic Chonaonaigh bring a sense of honest frailty to characters, willing us to see reality in fiction, lulling us to a state of intense discomfort.
As spectators are ushered to and from rooms, sections become lost and muffled. The ensemble run away with the action and confusion sets in. Who are these characters? Why were they plucked from the past? How do their lives relate to ours?
Finally forsaking their audience, the ensemble demand engagement with this place in the here and now. As we exit the mansion, individually and without direction, we are suddenly alone with the bricks and mortar. I feel a wind chill and hear the door slam loudly behind.