The Faith Healer, Gate Theatre, Dublin
Masterly, unreliable memoirs
Sunday 12 February 2006
This was a strangely apt prologue to Faith Healer's eerie sequence of monologues where you never quite know what is fact or fabulation or whether the unreliable witnesses materialising out of the darkness are flesh and blood or ghostly hallucinations. Fiennes's outwardly cool Frank is the miracle-worker (or was he only a charlatan?); Ingrid Craigie's Grace, is his shaky ex-mistress (or was she his wife?), and Ian McDiarmid's Teddy his superficially chirpy former manager. Each confides in us, recounting increasingly painful memories of touring round small dusty halls on Britain's Celtic fringes, with Frank sometimes unfathomably curing the sick, other times failing, drinking and viciously quarreling with Grace.
This is an extraordinarily rich, elusively looping piece of writing. Fiennes brings out a surprisingly dry humour and chattiness in Frank underlaid by deep bitterness, vulnerability and grief. Craigie has a touching core of still-girlish charisma and McDiarmid is wonderfully funny, as well as quietly heartbroken, as the old cockney raconteur. One audience member booed over the final warm applause, seemingly unable to distinguish between Fiennes's life and his art.
To 1 April, 00 353 1 874 4045
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 4 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Spanish town saved by botched restoration of century-old Christian 'Ecce Homo' fresco of Jesus
'Beasts of No Nation': Netflix releases trailer of first feature film, starring Idris Elba
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be