The Hub four stars On the face of it, Samuel Beckett's 1957 radio play is the most straightforward of all his works. Over the course of seventy-five minutes we follow an old woman's journey to the railway station to meet her husband off what turns out to be a delayed train. On his belated arrival, we follow their journey home, eventually discovering the reason for the delay. In Pan Pan's hand, however, such a simple yarn becomes a full-on immersive experience, with the audience sat on rocking chairs in a dimly-lit room resembling a chill-out zone opposite a wall of floodlights. With no actors in sight, a recording of the play is broadcast through surround-sound speakers, giving every nuanced exchange and train rattle a thundering weight. The play itself, with Aine Ni Mhuiri leading a cast of ten as old Mrs Rooney, is a darkly comic affair, rich in pathos and deadly one-liners. Gavin Quinn's high-concept production, with set and lighting by Aedin Cosgrove and sound design by Jimmy Eadie, transforms Beckett's words into a piece of total theatre that becomes a rich and unyielding feast for the senses.
The Herald, August 2013 ends