Writers: Anna Wolf and Rory O’Sullivan
The first night of Polish Theatre Ireland’s new play, The Passengers, got off to a good start at Dublin’s The New Theatre. The 45 minute play takes in the themes of identity, belonging and what home means in a successful collaboration by writers Anna Wolf and Rory O’Sullivan.
It is December 2010 a three individuals meet at Dublin airport when they are snowed in over the Christmas period. Their reasons for wanting to leave Dublin are very different but they all illustrate the difficulties and new freedoms that come from having moved away from ones birthplace.
One character has already taken to the stage by the time the audience enter the theatre and stalks the stage, setting up his laptop. E-screens are situated at the rear of the stage. At first they show images of planes and travel however later in the play they are used to great effect when one character calls his sister on skype, with the images being projected onto the screens. This works very well, without a single technical hitch. This is unusual to see in a theatre but one of the plays finer points is that it shows how well technology can be integrated into a performance.
The three actors work well together and display an easy rapport that made their relationships believable. Paul Travers is given some of the best lines and the sibling relationship between him and Polish actress Kasia Lech, gave the audience some humorous moments. The ensemble is rounded off by Elaine Reddy’s disgruntled nurse who finds herself not only stranded at the airport but also dragged into the life and story of her co-stars.
At the end it becomes clear that this is a story as much about emigration as it is about the loneliness of navigating your way home. When the audience met the characters they have already made their decisions yet the difficulty in either returning home or leaving it again are as fresh as they were when they first left.
This is a good and enjoyable play however it gives the impression of still being a work in progress, with several key themes and plot ideas not fully followed through. With further development this play will go onto greater success.
Photo courtesy of The New Theatre. Runs Until April 18th 2015.