Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Quietly review

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

Quietly
© Anthony Woods

Quietly review

Traverse Theatre

By Andrzej Lukowski
Advertising
It’s March 28, 2009, Northern Ireland is playing Poland in a World Cup qualifier, and there’s tension on the streets of Belfast. Nervously eyeing the youths outside his pub, genial Polish barman Robert (Robert Zawadski) is all alone apart from Jimmy (Patrick O’Kane), a vicious-looking regular with a deceptively dry sense of humour.

In an offhand way, Jimmy tells Robert that a man will be coming to see him tonight and there might be trouble. Then they banter about the football for a while, until Ian (Declan Conlon) walks into the pub, at which point Jimmy promptly headbutts him.

It’s an explosively violent moment, but afterwards, Owen McCafferty’s phenomenal play lives up to its name. Directed with pinprick precision by Jimmy Fay, ‘Quietly’ settles into a supremely tense dialogue between two powerful, damaged men trying haltingly to come to terms with the unimaginably terrible thing one did to the other when they were teenagers at the height of The Troubles.

There are no easy answers, just a pair of granite-like figures edging towards a reconciliation of sorts with with tectonic slowness. In a work of delicate, devastating storytelling O’Kane and Conlon are entirely transfixing as two men trying to clearly vocalise what happened to each of them one night in 1974, talking through events that are impossible to rationalise. It really is quiet, each word dragged down by lifetime’s weight: we struggle (a little) to hear them as they struggle (a lot) o put it all into words - the effect is utterly compelling.

Hushed as a grave, McCafferty tough, human exploration of truth and reconciliation will leave you thunderstruck.

The latest Edinburgh Fringe theatre reviews

Pioneer review

4 out of 5 stars
Theatre Drama

It's probably written down somewhere in an old dusty book of Edinburgh Fringe Rules that staging a big-scale sci-fi thriller with a complex set is Not Advisable. Science-focussed theatre company Curious Directive have clearly ignored all the rules.

Read the review

Advertising

Early Doors review

3 out of 5 stars
Theatre Drama

Pint after breakfast anyone? Noon may sound a little early to be drinking, but you’d feel out of place if you didn’t join in with the regulars during this play staged in a small Edinburgh boozer.

Read the review

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Nothing review

4 out of 5 stars
Theatre Drama

Struggling to find work, bored, angry and obsessed with technology and sex: a bunch of today’s Generation Y speak to us in this series of monologues.

Read the review

Show more
Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising