The Weir

Date 20th September 2014
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavillion, South Shields
Type of Production Play
Director Jim Barton


Author: Gordon Richardson

Set in a remote country pub just south of Dublin, the Landlord plays host to three older local males and a newcomer to the village, a young girl.  As the locals regale their captive audience on a very windy evening with ‘urban legend’ style ghostly tales of past local life, they unwittingly find themselves at a loss upon hearing the ‘true’ and tragic tale as told by their female ‘guest’.

The play which kept transforming from funny to sad was overall very dramatic, especially during the often long lengthy dialogue by each tale teller. This transformation was further enhanced by the clever use of colour changes to grey in the lighting plot and silence of sound effects in the background noise leaving the audience feeling like a slightly uncomfortable guest eavesdropping on the conversations.

The plot called for the liberal use of smoking on set, and this did cause an unpleasant atmosphere in the auditorium at times. Language throughout the whole play was ‘colourful’ with copious use of the ‘F’ word but, in my opinion, this was not at all offensive - no more so than watching an episode of ‘Father Ted’ or ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ and was just taken as normal conversation between good friends.  The play did, for me, end a little abruptly, with a sense of a story still yet to be told. These points apart, this was a well cast, appropriately costumed, well designed and dressed set with good sound and lighting plot that was a powerful piece of drama, well played in authentic sounding Southern Ireland accents by the five-strong cast of Corinne Kilvington, Ian Reah, Jim Barton, David Cooke and Eddie McNamee.

Well done Westovians, an excellent start to the season.