Hypocrisy is at the heart of Liam Heylin’s latest play which is about a Cork woman with notions who is on jury service. Gráinne (Laura O’Mahony) can’t help herself from disclosing to her husband, Dermot (Shane Casey) the details of the case she is assessing, even though the judge has warned the jurors not to utter a word about northsider Liam Healy, charged with stalking and harassing his ex girlfriend. Meanwhile, Gráinne is growing cannabis plants in her attic while self-employed Dermot is trying to dodge tax. But the couple are blind to their own crimes and misdemeanours.
They take it upon themselves to spy on the unseen Liam and his former girlfriend. This scene, which sees the couple pitched up outside the respective homes of the accused and his alleged victim, is highly farcical.
This two-hander is like a sitcom with the actors hamming it up, sometimes at a ferocious rate. There’s nothing subtle here. Nor is there any real plot. But there is some good observational comedy, particularly during the scene where the couple is watching The Late Late Show with Gráinne’s mother, Marje who can’t fathom the fact that Gay Byrne is no longer in the hot seat.
Marje’s comment about her daughter’s jury service is summed up in one apt phrase: ‘Tuppence-ha’penny looking down on tuppence.’ But the wine-swilling pair is deluded. They think they’re above Liam, who is from the wrong side of the tracks. However, the couple’s accents are not exactly posh, which jars a little. Dermot, in particular, sounds like a stereotypical northsider. He is dressed in a striped shirt and expensive looking red shoes that’s reminiscent of the yuppie look of the 1980s. However, the play is set in recent times.
Dermot justifies spying on Liam and his ex by saying that he and his wife are just observing, “like David Attenborough.”
Ultimately, this play, which is far too long, is anti-climactic. Dermot receives a summons from the revenue commissioners. “Deny everything,” Gráinne advises him.
It’s a fitting response because Dermot and Gráinne are in a constant state of denial.
- Continues until Saturday