Terminus tells the story of three ordinary Dubliners whose lives have spiralled out of control and into a darkly touching underworld of love, sex, violence, jealousy, betrayal and death, where angels and demons roam.
It is dark. Two women and a man sit inside a wooden picture frame on pieces of broken glass. As the light illuminates each one in turn, they stand to reveal a fragment of their life’s story, a shard of broken glass. Spotlight gone, they sink back into the darkness from whence they came, words intermingling with one another, like their lives.
The play starts off a little shakily with actress, Andrea Irvine, struggling slightly to render natural the torrent of words she is responsible for, and the previously irritable audience adjusting to the sights and sounds onstage.
However, by the time we reach Eileen Walsh, the performance is captivating. Walsh handles the garrulous rhyme and verse with a grace and naturalness all her own, throwing her whole body into the performance and leaving the viewer ready for more.
Karl Shields brings up the rear, scooping the audience up into the language and carrying us into his sinisterly comedic story of murderous misogyny. The audience have warmed up by the time the light moves back round to Irvine, now familiar with the woman and her words, and fall under her spell.
Put simply, Irish writer/director, Mark O’Rowe, is a genius. Visually simple, yet stunning, O’Rowe doesn’t need props, costumes or set changes; his writing is powerful enough in itself – a rhyming feast of wit and passion.
Review by Joanna Muirhead
Terminus is at Edinburgh Traverse Theatre until August 24 – visit the website for more information.