“What, in the name of Jaysus, is going on?”
With their summer programme, the Donmar opted for a Conor McPherson double bill and so following on from the extremely good revival of The Weir is a new play from the Irish playwright – The Night Alive. And it is unmistakeably familiar territory – ruminative meanderings in an isolated Irish setting, probing into the delights, depths and depravity that humanity can stretch to in extraordinary circumstances but also in the day-to-day living of life.
Well into middle age, Tommy is a chancer, skirting along the fringes of life in the bedsit he rents from his elderly drunken uncle as he tries to keep his ex-wife and kids at bay and make a success out of any number of crackpot schemes dreamed up with his pal Doc. When he comes to the rescue of the battered Aimee and brings her back to his abode to recuperate, she opens the door to the redemptive possibility of a new world but alongside the hope that she offers, comes a very real sense of danger.