Best Man by Carmel Winters @ Project Arts Center

best_man_theatre_eventBusy hectic lifestyle, personal interest sacrifices, lack of time – the story of nearly every modern family, something everyone can relate to.

The audience is buzzing on the opening night, there are little seats left just before performance and people keep arriving. You can tell the excitement is on the level high and rising.

Performance starts, all eyes on a stage. You fall in love with characters straight away – so much common they have with either yourself or someone you know. Kay – successful business woman, who likes to enjoy a glass of whiskey and a smoke after another successful day of selling properties, is hardly ever home. Her own kids only know she wished them goodnight only if they wake up with her lipstick on their cheeks next morning. Alan – dad, who devoted his time to looking after kids while trying to write a novel and scribbling best man speeches to earn some kind of pocket money. Kay is good at what she is doing and she clearly enjoys it, not forgetting to remind Alan who is earning money in the family. So Alan gets to the point when he also wants to  do what he really wants as well – to write a novel. They clearly need help and it’s then the decision is made to hire a nanny. We first meet Marta in the emotional scene when she comes to visit her father – retired ambassador. Marta already shows her character through past events described by both her and a father. She is very straight forward and doesn’t feel uncomfortable expressing her opinion even if it might be deemed as slightly offensive. And she is hired. Kids fall in love with Marta, she is in the family portraits they draw, parents are competing for her attention between themselves. Marta however develops affection for one of them and after expressing it at some stage of her employment, the new affair emerges. This affair is a spark to all following events. It’s a turn everyone takes and it is not the one of the smooth major road. There is not much laughter anymore, but that of genuine sadness as you watch the perfect picture dissolving, lives and hearts breaking. One says there is just a step from love to hate and the concept is clearly explored in this drama. Dreams turn into nightmares, living turns into emotional survival. Who is going to break? Who knows each others weak spots better? What would you be ready to do in a war for your children and their attention?

Brilliant actors play combined with astonishing visual effects. There is often a need for change of stage setting during the play, but visual effects make it all look so organic, at times grasping your attention so much that you never even notice people dressed in white changing decorations all over the stage. It’s relevant, modern and fits just right after every scene.

After leaving the auditorium my brain was still processing what I just experienced. Truly moving, exceptionally emotional, contemporary yet relevant – all of these terms only partially describe the brilliance of the performance. Fantastic emotional journey and time goes unnoticed.

Suitable ages 16+  contains strong language and sexual references

Written by Carmel Winters
Directed by Michael Barker-Caven
Produced by Rachel Murray
Set and Costume Design by Liam Doona
Lighting Design by Sinéad McKenna

Starring Derbhle Crotty, Peter Gowen, Kate Stanley Brennan, Roisin O’Neill, Bryan Murray and Una Crawford O’Brien

You can catch it @Project Arts Center
16 – 27 JULY 2013

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