The Irish Repertory Theatre

presents

DEFENDER OF THE FAITH

By STUART CAROLAN

Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22 St., NYC, www.irishrep.org

 

March 1 – April 29, 2007

 

Directed by CIARAN O’REILLY

Sets CHARLES CORCORAN

Costumes MARTHA HALLY

Lighting BRIAN NASON

Sound ZACHARY WILLIAMSON

Fight Director RICK SORDELET

Press Representative SHIRLEY HERZ ASSOCIATES

Cast

Matt Ball – Danny

Luke Kirby – Thomas

Peter Rogan – Barney

Anto Nolan – Father

David Lansbury – J.J.

Marc Aden Gray – Unknown Man

DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, Stuart Carolan’s first play, is set in a volatile Northern Ireland of the 1980’s. IRA operatives have an informer among them, and the ensuing investigation, as well as the swirling suspicions, drive both the gnawing tension and the disturbing violence of this flawed but impressive first effort.

Set on and around a farm, there are some taut and tensely executed moments in DEFENDER OF THE FAITH. Many of these occur between a gruff character simply known as Father and his older son, Thomas, but younger son Danny, farmhand Barney and investigator J.J. are all party to if not the authors of tense moments of their own. There are also moments, some occurring in the same scenes, where the character’s suspicions, conclusions and actions blur the lines to the point that even the audience is not sure where the truth or the motivation lies. Is there one informer? Are there more? Has a family patriarch been driven to the point of slaying his own son? All serious questions. These, and more, are addressed in a play that runs about 90 minutes.

In keeping with the subject matter, there is an abundant use of expletives, and a fair amount of violence. The acting is often intense, and Ciaran O’Reilly directs DEFENDER OF THE FAITH so that the scenes build up of their own volition, led mainly by the energy of the actors. The set is not quite so low-key, but it is sufficient to suggest the interior of the house and the exterior looking onto the farm, and the lighting and sound design add to the effect created by the acting and direction.

Definitely not for the kids, or those easily offended by harsh language, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH is a notable entry by a new talent.

- Kessa De Santis -

Archives    Listings