DC Theatre Scene: THE WEIR

The Keegan Theatre’s new production of The Weir grabs you from the start, almost before you know it. Bright yet dark, simple yet complex, emotional yet cerebral, Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s beautifully sculpted miniature masterpiece explores, with a deceptively light touch, the darker recesses of the human heart which, as Blaise Pascal observed, knows things that the mind cannot comprehend. A hit at its 1997 London premiere, The Weir carried its success to New York’s Walter Kerr Theatre in 1999, helping cement his current stature as one of Ireland’s most talented younger playwrights.

The Keegan Theatre’s production carries on the play’s award-winning tradition, dropping its incredibly-talented cast into a cozy, intimate rural Irish pub and letting the players take it from there.”

The Weir is thus art, entertainment, and a spiritual quest all rolled up into one deceptively simple bundle. It’s all about people and how they work, about character not plot. The Keegan cast gets this in toto.

Each player inhabits his or her character to the point where the actor actually disappears into McPherson’s heightened reality. They’re all exquisitely good at what they do with not a weak performance among them.”

McPherson supplies the quietly brilliant stories and dialogue. The cast passionately embodies his characters. Director Mark A. Rhea, in turn, deftly guides the stage action, never getting in the way of allowing his characters to quietly evolve. And set designer George Lucas’ quaint yet contemporary Irish pub becomes a suitably homey place to unburden a lonely soul, even as those cold and lonely Atlantic winds howl metaphorically outside.

Don’t miss it.

-Read the full review here