Friday, November 01, 2013

Summertime (David Ireland/Tinderbox) in The MAC (5-16 Nov)

I went along to a reading of David Ireland’s new play Summertime during the Pick’n’Mix festival earlier this year, and I’m delighted to see that it’s back in the MAC for a full run from 5-16 November.

Even with a minimal set and the actors carrying around their scripts the play was powerful, emotional and at times excruciating.

A young minister’s vulnerability was explored as he settled into an East Belfast working class congregation. It was distressing to watch as Jonathan (played by Richard Clements) found himself caught in the middle of other people’s lives and expectations.

How could young troubled Isaac (played by Ryan McParland) be best helped? And people talk. Yet gossip could cost a minister – particularly a young single man – his reputation … or more.

The reading was incredibly authentic, and anyone in ministry may find the tension and the bullying far too true to life to be a pleasant evening’s entertainment. I’ll be interested to see whether a fuller set and costumes changes the impact of the play.

Kim Lenaghan interviewed playwright David Ireland on tonight's Arts Extra

If you’re up for some real theatre, don’t miss Tinderbox’s production of Summertime in the MAC with its cast of Victoria Armstrong, Richard Clements, Ivan Little and Ryan McParland, directed by Michael Duke.

Tickets available from £12. Strong language throughout as well as discussion of child abuse.

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