Review Round-Up: The Weir

The Washington Post

“Subtle but magnetic … the audience is transfixed as the characters, one at a time, sink into long, spellbinding speeches recounting eerie, inexplicable events … Rhea and the actors do know how to use stillness to advantage … As a piece of dramatic writing, “The Weir” is exquisite – gripping and deeply provocative.  … McPherson is expert at unsettled equilibrium, and this production gets that.”
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Washington Examiner

“Rhea’s cast weaves together intriguing dynamics among lifelong pub patrons who chide each other one minute and buy pints for his foe the next … It all plays out on the authentic barfly set, where the tap is so convincingly modeled you may find yourself parched by the end of the night…. a seasoned cast that quenches your thirst for the dramatic. … Kevin Adams leads the pack with his melancholy man of regrets, sharing a singular moment of sobriety late in the evening that claws at the heart of McPherson’s fiction, while David Jourdan’s quiet retelling of his ominous experience as a gravedigger is both chilling and oddly empathic.”
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DC Theatre Scene

“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 art, entertainment, and a spiritual quest all rolled up into one deceptively simple bundle … “.
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“The Weir is a beguiling tale about storytelling and the profound insights about the storyteller one gleans from the telling. The Keegan’s able adaptation of the play provides plentiful delights, including the warm and inviting set design – consisting only of a simple, tiny, rural pub by George Lucas, and the subtle but emotive lighting by Dan Martin. … To be sure, this is an actor’s play – full of wonderful moments of ensemble humor and individual daring.”
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Washington City Paper

“Set in one location in real time, The Weir is the kind of interior, Irish-to-its-chilly-bones piece at which Keegan Theatre excels … Under the direction of Mark A. Rhea, the cast all scale their performances appropriately. The comfort and the contempt arising from their lives of small-town proximity registers … As Jack, Kevin Adams seems to resent both the enterprising Finbar’s success and the retiring Jim’s meekness in more or less equal measure, all of it a mask for his disappointment in himself … Townson is an affable presence, as bartenders should be … As Valerie, a still-young woman reeling from the kind of loss that ages you, Susan Marie Rhea manages to convey dual cravings for privacy and connection. … This is a story about the importance of stories, about how the ritual of narrative can make sadness and loneliness and disappointment bearable.”
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Washington Blade

“…performed in a contemplative mood, melancholy at times, always sweet and sad and frequently supernatural, “The Weir” is a very different play, by accomplished Irish playwright and screenwriter Conor McPherson.  Skillfully directed by Keegan’s founding artistic director, Mark A. Rhea, it co-stars his wife, the astonishingly talented Susan Marie Rhea, as Valerie, the outsider from Dublin who moves to live in a small village in rural northwest Ireland… In a series of mostly monologue set-pieces, all five get to tell their tales, tinged with bittersweet regret at life’s losses.”
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