Theatre Review: The Long Road at The Lyric Theatre

By Peter McLoughlin @PeterGownArts

The Long Road is an immensely sad production.  The play’s focus is on a family coming to terms with the chance murder of their 18 year old son and brother.  From the first moment the mother of the story, played with unsettling brilliance by Sheelagh O’Kane, steps onto the stage, to the moment the lights lower for the final time, there is little reprieve from the raw, conflicted emotion of the story.

The Naughton Studio is a perfect platform for this production.  The seating surrounds the stage-floor, which is not raised above the level of the audience, and so the actors play their parts with no separation from the crowd.  It provides a personal, visceral experience – a perfect platform

for this production.

Floor-space is used with a clear minimalist intent – the set is more or less a table, a few chairs, and an armchair – and the distance between these few central objects – and who is sitting on them at any given time – is a cleverly-used method of re-enforcing the distance between the family, and the disparity in their efforts to come to terms with thier grief.

The play is on occasion a little forced, but as a whole it is well-crafted and superbly acted.  The Long Road is a serious and important reflection on the mental scars left by loss.  Highly recommended.

To view the upcoming programme for the Lyric Theatre, click here

Students get 2 tickets for price of 1 on Wednesdays, subject to availability. ID required. To book phone Box Office 028 90381081.

All Northern Bank card holders are entitled to 20% discount off tickets for all shows on the Northern Bank Stage.

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