Monday 23 March 1998
People always want to know what a play is "about". If I were to tell you that The Weir is about an evening of tall tales in an Irish country pub, I don't suspect you'd be queuing for returns, but you should. When it first appeared last year, this play caused a noise far louder than any moment in this quietly entrancing evening. In physical terms, little actually happens (hence the bland synopsis) but it is nonetheless an extraordinarily theatrical experience. Put it on TV or (please not) film and the intimacy and immediacy will be lost, along with the warmth, humour and heart of this beautifully compassionate, deeply moving piece of writing. The virtues of Ian Rickson's production steal up on you and catch you unawares. His greatest strength as a director is his ability to draw richly subtle performances from actors and it has never been used to better effect than here. Even the virtually silent barman's performance is heartstopping.
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Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
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- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
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