Review: Between Dog and Wolf

A Play by Sean Buckley
Presented by OranMor and Paines Plough
Directed by Roxana Silbert.

The Venue at OranMor was looking particularly inviting with the tables laid out separately in a very attractive style each with little candles. I had no idea what Sean Buckley's play was about but just felt that it was time I got myself along to OranMor for some more of their great lunchtime theatre. I met up with my friend Anne and we partook of the pie and drink and had a little chat before the play began.

Immediately it commenced my merry little mood was shattered because you could tell this was going to be strong stuff. It opened on a scene showing a man on the floor with his shirt covered in blood and a young woman bending over him. He (John, played by Neil McKinven)awakes and greets his long lost daughter(Kate, played by Cath Whitefield) but has no idea were this strange, featureless place is nor how he arrived at this location. However, he is overjoyed to see his daughter and clasps her to him.

Kate explains that if her father wants to remain with her he must first of all relive the journey that has brought him there and she takes him back through a variety of events leading up to his arrival. Both actors give a great performance but Cath Whitefield has the more challenging role as she is required to play a number of characters, which she does very convincingly.

The play is a harrowing tale about Kate's brutal murder and how this has left her father bereft, his relationship with her mother in tatters, his drinking and the fact that he is haunted by the loss of his daughter. He has been left bereft and grieving and has become the violent and angry man we are shown in various settings.

Initially it is unclear what has happened to Kate but as the play unfolds we see that she is now - 'between dog and wolf' - a harsh translation of the French term for twilight. The journey is sinister and uneasy and the initial joy he experiences at having found his daughter is replaced by horror at having himself arrived in such a God forsaken place. This twilight world where his daughter has lured him. Only he can decide whether he will stay.

Very strong stuff for an Autumn afternoon - the play is powerful and convincing.

Pat Byrne - 8th November, 2007.

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