A Night at the Theatre

21 Nov

I recently had the opportunity to go to my first Irish theatre. We went to see The Hanging Gardens, a play by Frank McGuinness and it was his first play in fourteen years. I have only been to a few plays in my life and they were all performed by my classmates so this was as professional as I have ever experienced. The story followed a former successful playwright as he and his family dealt with his decline in health. Though people all over the world can relate to the pain of watching a parent suffer, this story was particularly focused on examining the close bonds of Irish families. It showed the struggle to care for your loved ones while still considering your own well-being and future plans.

The three children return to their childhood home in a small Irish town where everyone knows each other and the neighbors harass them about why they are back, assuming they must have failed at adult life. They each have difficulties or secrets they are dealing with that they struggle to explain to their father throughout the play. The wife and husband have an interesting relationship of an Irish wife who is consumed by caring for her husband as well as tending to the gardens surrounding their house that they cherish more than anything. She deals with the difficulties of remaining selfless while on the verge of exhaustion.

Throughout the experience, I laughed, cried, and hung onto their every word. I think the main reason I enjoyed the production so much was that I could relate it to my own experiences in Ireland so far. As I walk throughout the city, no matter the time of day, I see families interacting in a much more intimate way than I am used to. At home, it’s rare to see both parents travelling with their children somewhere, but here it is much more common. Clearly, these close bonds continue on throughout family members’ lives and that is shown wonderfully in The Hanging Gardens. I hope I have the chance to attend more plays during the remainder of my time here!




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