Irish Repertory Theatre presents a series of tall tales told by four Irishmen vying for the attention of a woman whose own story puts theirs to shame. More…
In a remote country pub in Ireland, newcomer Valerie arrives and becomes spellbound by an evening of ghostly stories told by the local bachelors who drink there. With a whiff of sexual tension in the air and the wind whistling outside, what starts out as blarney soon turns dark as the tales drift into the realm of the supernatural. Then, Valerie reveals a startling story of her own….
"This production of McPherson’s award-winning play smiles with an easy accessibility and fluidity, but delivers a subtle, stark punch... In the hands of director O’Reilly and with the measured, beautifully balanced and powerfully understated portrayals by the ensemble, all elements combine to make this a memorable and poignant rendering of McPherson’s work." Full Review
"It is always remarkable to me when I find a play so gripping, only later to realize it was simply brilliant dialogue. This wouldn't quite be the case, of course, if it wasn't brought to life by an impeccable cast...Each player contributes to build a message that reaches far deeper into us than star power can. Although much of this play’s appeal is the chilling effect of ghost stories, the lasting impact is one of radiant warmth." Full Review
"The Irish Repertory Theater’s superb revival of 'The Weir,' Conor McPherson’s haunting drama about strange occurrences and the comfort of sharing them with strangers, has returned for a summer run... In the cozy confines of a low-key Off Broadway theater, the play’s simplicity and subdued warmth may be easier to appreciate...An enticing production, which provides audiences an evening in very good company indeed." Full Review
“‘The Weir’ proves to be a profound meditation on the twin themes of loneliness and community, told so theatrically that you’ll savor each peat-scented phrase. The trick is to get the details right, and the Irish Repertory Theatre’s revival, staged with sure-footed simplicity by Ciarán O’Reilly, is totally believable. From the inch-thick brogues of the actors to the neon signs on the walls of the barroom set, it’s as convincing as a deathbed confession.” Full Review
"For the most part, it is easy to get lost in 'The Weir,' to feel as if you are sincerely looking in as a silent patron sitting alone in the back of the establishment...The play is ultimately uplifting in a way; it’s a celebration of the power of tipsy conversation in the middle of the night. But this celebration comes at the cost of mourning, and there’s a portentous undercurrent of fear and grief in 'The Weir' that has more to do with the souls we’ve lost than the apparitions they might bec... Full Review
"Director Ciarán O'Reilly shows his mastery over the form...The cast is no less masterful...A haunting, captivating comedy buoyed by fine performances and directorial panache, Irish Rep’s 'The Weir' rivets with wit, wise-cracking and good old gothic imagination." Full Review
"A splendidly evocative telling of McPherson’s elegant meditation on human fragility, loneliness and the power of the past... Director Ciarán O’Reilly keeps the pace moving and the action compelling. The acting is universally on the money, although Quaid seems to have not found the center of her character yet...'The Weir' ends with humor, for it’s humor that’s the grace that keeps us going despite loss and what could have been." Full Review
"This show shines as a moving exploration of the balance between loneliness and community in rural Ireland...O’Reilly’s direction proves insightful in capturing McPherson’s characters’ powerful urge for sharing themselves with the community in the hopes of finding a more clear understanding of the world." Full Review
"The pacing felt a little shaky in the early going during the preview I attended. Nonetheless the cast’s four men achieved that welcome theatrical effect that only a crafty script and carefully calibrated performances can: the firm illusion of long acquaintance and communal history...this is a captivating piece of work...It’s well worth a visit – or a revisit." Full Review
"'The Weir' is an utterly naturalistic play in which the unity of the ensemble – the ease of the characters' interplay of speech and silence — is vital. In this production the performances are damagingly uneven...It's not the revival of 'The Weir' I was hoping for, but the production is still adept enough to give a strong sense of how good McPherson's drama is." Full Review
"Unfortunately, I thought it took too long to rev up and gain momentum, and the ghost stories didn’t quite pack the punch I anticipated. Perhaps I’d built it up too much in my head after all these years? While it left me underwhelmed, I am glad to have finally encountered it." Full Review
for a previous production "In director O’Reilly’s production, we can almost feel the heat emanating from designer Corcoran’s photo-perfect pub; we actually lean closer to it when the wind howls. But the work moves beyond mere coziness; an excellent cast and McPherson’s profoundly felt humanism make the piece warming on some deep level." Full Review
for a previous production "It’s regrets, missed chances and life’s hard losses that are truly haunting. Conor McPherson reminds us of that in 'The Weir,' a quietly disarming play. Ciaran O’Reilly’s banner revival at Irish Rep mines the text for all its riches...'The Weir' has a power that sneaks up on you like a stealthy specter." Full Review
for a previous production "A cautionary tale about the dangers of loneliness and the need to connect with other human beings. But 'The Weir' is also a grand testament to the power of storytelling and imagination. Even if you're not inclined to believe in ghosts and fairies, you might reconsider your prejudices by the end of this work." Full Review
for a previous production "'The Weir' proves to be a profound meditation on the twin themes of loneliness and community, told so theatrically that you'll savor each phrase. The trick is to get the details right, and the Irish Repertory Theatre's revival, staged with sure-footed simplicity by Ciarán O'Reilly, is totally believable. It's as convincing as a deathbed confession." Full Review
for a previous production "The director Ciaran O'Reilly has assembled a fine cast that manages to turn an evening at the pub into a harrowing night of self-revelation and discovery. Each of the actors is a natural story-teller, and each contributes in small ways to the overall success of the Irish Repertory staging." Full Review
for a previous production "Top-notch production all around and a beautifully detailed set designed by Charlie Corcoran. Butler is particularly fascinating to watch as his character becomes more influenced by alcohol...This is a sit-back-and-enjoy show." Full Review
for a previous production "Loneliness and tenderness suffuse 'The Weir.' Ultimately, it is a play about relationships and the human need for contact. One can’t expect much more than that from a theatrical experience. Under astute direction, the cast members project this rich mix of Irish and universal characters that stay with one long after the show has ended." Full Review
for a previous production "Irish Rep’s production of 'The Weir' is devastating and heartening. The storytelling is its own form of healing, in the play and outside of it. They are more effective than electric lights in the way they banish the darkness. This is what 'happens.' And it’s more than enough." Full Review
for a previous production "There is not a weak moment due to this ensemble's mastery of language, compassion and listening. We are transported inside of this old-world setting. It’s as though the characters have fallen into a brilliant little short story but are unaware...This is a pinnacle production. It's a refreshing theatrical experience for anyone interested in the art of a good story." Full Review
for a previous production "You’d think I’d have learned how to harden my heart. Yet despite having seen 'The Weir' several times I still can’t help but be moved by this bittersweet and melancholy work. This most recent production is sure to move many others as well." Full Review
for a previous production "What better way for the Irish Repertory Theatre to celebrate its 25th anniversary season than this pitch-perfect revival of Conor McPherson's brilliant play 'The Weir?' Despite having seen the original, it's on this production that I've truly grasped the shape and power of this disarmingly simple, entertaining and quietly devastating work." Full Review
for a previous production "In the steady hands of director Ciaran O’Reilly and a first-rate cast, the Irish Rep’s production deftly dwells in the powerful space of storytelling. Subtle light and sound cues accent the scenes of stories. The stylized storytelling set-pieces underscore these 'old cods' as the soul of this play and this community." Full Review
for a previous production "McPherson skillfully nudges us toward an encounter with the unseen world, but then he over eggs the horror. Not every ghost story need make your knees knock. Taken individually, each ghost story delivers a riveting tale. But what it all amounts to is just a little too ambiguous by the play’s end." Full Review
See it if You value heightened naturalistic barroom theater with a warm sensibility and a touch of mystery.
Don't see it if Language and character should take a back seat to plot and spectacle or you'd rather drink than comprehend.
See it if Love Ireland and ghost stories. Set in a pub, each character relates a spooky tale. Yet who has the most frightening tale of all? A classic.
Don't see it if You don't care for long monologues.
See it if You enjoy traditional Irish themes, good acting, small venue
Don't see it if Enough already of the Irish ghost stories in bars - I saw a production many years ago that was more ghosty & more fun for that reason
See it if you love ghost stories. Play's structure (ea character tells a story) is unsophisticated, as are the tales. Not my cup of Irish Breakfast.
Don't see it if you want a real play w lots of dialogue. If, however, you like a good yarn (or several) you'll have fun. Good performances.
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