The Hanging Gardens (Avery Cok)

29 Oct

I sat in my seat in the Abbey Theatre hoping to really get immersed into the Irish culture. I saw “The Hanging Gardens” and I am extremely elated that I made the right decision. I think of plays as a great way of making one cultured. I believe that they integrate social and political views, in some aspect, which can heighten anyone’s learning experience. I can say that my knowledge of Ireland undoubtedly augmented with every minute that the play went on for. I am so grateful for the opportunity to watch an amazing spectacle.

So, I would like to give me little review of what I thought about everything. I honestly came into the play not knowing anything specific about it. During the progress of the play, I can see that its high points include: fierce acting skills tht were perpetuated by the father of the family, character development, realistic set, emotional connection, and some feeling of empathy, which was exhumed by the audience. Now, one might be wondering why I used “perpetuated” in a positive sense. I feel that, at times, the abundance of emotion might have been a little overdone. It does increase the connection between the audience and the characters and it does get one’s attention, but I feel as if some points could have used less intensity. Sometimes, I would jump out of my seat, when the actors started yelling out of nowhere. Consequently, it might be how fast that they start yelling from a previously calm conversation. Another thing that got my attention was the lack of change. There was one set for the whole play. It was a garden. I see the garden as very symbolic and it was like a safe-haven for the family. To be completely honest, the lack of change could make one lose interest in the play. I don’t know what the story is about, but I would like to have seen some change because that is what I’m used to when I see plays. However, I would say that my opinion on that is subjective and others might have seen the play in a positive aspect due to it. Whilst watching the ending, I tried to analyze every situation because I know that there is something more than what meets the eye. The story was too intricate for me to understand. I got the apparent theme that the family knows that the father is going into dementia. I think that the ending demonstrates that he fell into it. He additionally thought that he had an extra child than the three that he actually had. And I was disappointed that I did not get to see him talk to his fourth child. I feel as if it would have definitively strengthened the audience’s connection.

I subsequently delved into the plot even more. Another theme that is readily important is the idea of family and the significance of familial relationships. Much of the plot consisted of the father talking to all his children and they eventually went through a breakthrough, where they talked about their lives. The children found out things that they never knew before about their father. As a result, it actually justifies the ending because the father begins to end all unopened ends for his children. From what I can assume from the play, the father starts to actually become a father once he is out of his mind. I believe that there are many life lessons ingrained in the plot and this one, in particular, upholds the fact that people try to start to finish things a little too late. However, it is also better late than never. With that, I feel as if there were many life lessons incorporated into the overall plot of the play. Furthermore, I commend the acting that all the actors did. Although it might have been a little overdone at times, I would say that it was an integral part of the play. This did a superb job in developing the story line. 

All in all, I had a great time watching the play. It left me wondering about the significance of the plot, which coerced me to critically think. Also, I felt emotionally intertwined into the story and I would say that most people probably felt the same as me. It was a great experience and when I think of Irish culture, one of the key components of that will revolve around that play. I am gracious for the chance and happy that I went. It further proves my emotional connection with the arts. 

-Avery Cok


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