Halcion Days at The Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin
Some time ago I enjoyed a performance of Deirdre Kinahan’s play Halcion Days at The Smock Alley Theatre. The production was directed by David Horan, Set and Costumes were designed by Maree Kearns, Lighting Design by Kevin Smith.
The interior relationship between the audience and the performance area at the Smock Alley Theatre dictates to some extent how the production can be presented. However in this instance the neat evocative set did all that was asked of it and the performance of the cast; Anita Reeves and Stephen Brennan in conjunction with Kevin Smith’s lighting, extended the imagined environs of the set in the minds of the audience in a visually appealing, effective and economical presentation. The controlled pallet and tones of both Set and Costume focused the audience’s attention on the delivery of the author’s words and the performance of the cast. The collaboration between the very able cast of Anita Reeves and Stephen Brennan and Director David Horan was very evident in the strength of the performances, which were absorbingly convincing.
The dimly lit minimalist set is visible to the audience as they take their seats and the performance opens with a subtle light change and the quiet arrival shuffling arrival on stage of the male character.
The play is scripted to open in a room in a Nursing Home with a glass panelled door to stage right which leads to an exterior garden space and pedestrian access for visitors. Access to the interior space of the nursing home was suggested down stage left by a step down onto a marked run of lino leading off stage. At appropriate times the noise of a Tea Trolley were heard coming from this direction. This allowed for the seamless, smooth unfolding of the play.
The translucent light structure, restrained tone and mono-chrominance of the set, costumes and minimal set dressings gave a look to the production akin to a slightly faded, utilitarian slightly clinical environment. This ambience was supported and maintained by Kevin Smith’s subtle and unobtrusive lighting.
The translucent light structure of Maree Kearns’ set would suggest that it was designed with a tour of the smaller provincial theatres in mind. A neat piece of design.
Halcion Days was Produced by The Tall Tales Theatre Company www.talltales.ie
Deirdre Kinahan: http://ie.linkedin.com/pub/deirdre-kinahan/30/99b/8b5
Kevin Smith: http://www.kevinsmith.ie/