Woman and Scarecrow Everyman Theatre, Cork

Although Marina Carr’s play is about a woman’s impending death, it is far from depressing, with its black humour, occasional philosophising and rare moments of tenderness.
Woman and Scarecrow   Everyman Theatre, Cork

This Blood in the Alley production revels in Carr’s rich language. The play opens with the main character, Woman, complaining that she wanted to go west to die. Astutely played by Joan Sheehy, Woman rages against the dying light, full of regret. Relatively young, a mother-of-eight and wife to a philandering husband, Woman is forced to look at her life by Scarecrow, her alter ego.

Noelle Brown gives an energetic performance as Scarecrow. She is tough and tells Woman that she is dying out of spite. There is great bitterness in Woman’s story and a sense of a life not fully lived. Scarecrow accuses her of hiding behind her children and failing to embrace life courageously.

Throughout the play, Woman is in a bed. There is a wardrobe in the room from which loud squawking sounds emanate, terrifying Woman, as they indicate death.

Woman accuses her husband, played by Mark O’Regan, of looking forward to her death. O’Regan’s character is a mixture of breath-taking arrogance and niggling self pity. He is concerned that his beleaguered wife will leave him on a sour note.

While these two characters are at war with each other, there remains a vestige of fondness between them. Woman asks her husband to lie down in the bed beside her. The subtlety of the actors makes this scene credible, as they make the transition from rage to tired acquiescence.

Geraldine Plunkett plays the harsh aunt who reared Woman.

Until Sept 9

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