The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings








Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


NYC Restaurants


New Jersey







Free Updates
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp London London Review

It's always the same isn't it Mam - resort to the pills or the puke because otherwise you'll have to look at it, won't you! Look at us and see . . . really see — Niamh
Deirdre Donnelly as Mam and Ronan Leahy as Nial (Photo: Geraint Lewis)
Like so many Irish plays, Deirdre Kinahan's Moment is based in the kitchen of what was once the family home. Here the daughters of the family Niamh (Maeve Fitzgerald) and Ciara (Kate Nic Chonaonaigh) keep an eye on their 60 year old mother Teresa (Deirdre Donnelly) who is getting confused over whether she has taken her pills. Whilst the girls have stayed near home the prodigal son Nial (Ronan Leahy), not seen for many years, arrives on a flying visit stopping off overnight on his way to Spain.

It seems to be a hallmark of Irish plays that the mothers fuss over their sons and take the girls for granted. Teresa goes off to the shops to buy, for her important visitor, quiche, which used to be her home made speciality and she has a happy thought that her whole family will be together and not only will they be together she imagines that they might be in harmony. It becomes obvious that Niamh has no wish to see her brother and the tension in her body language tells us that something is very wrong in her relationship with her brother. Niamh loses her purse and is forced to return to her mother's home although she had planned not to be there at the same time as Nial.

Nial arrives with Ruth (Rebecca O'Mara) in tow, a Englishwoman and motivator for this family visit but while she expects a cosy family reunion what develops is very different. Although everyone is on very best behaviour and Ruth is layering on the sacharin sweetness, anxious to be liked, there is a nasty undercurrent here. Two bombshells are dropped. Ruth and Neil were married the day before with none of his family there and Ruth lets slip that her mother wasn't totally happy about her marrying Nial because of his "history". Fifteen years ago Nial went to prison for the murder of 12 year old Hilary, the best friend of his sister Niamh. We see flashback scenes, of Niamh and Hilary together having fun.

Nial is now a moderately successful artist; prison has been the making of him and he has moved on with the help of curator Ruth but his family have been trapped, living with the effects of his crime, atoning daily in the community for his sin and their being tainted by association. As the evening progresses so the pain starts to emerge and Ruth starts to regret upsetting the false equilibrium by insisting on meeting Nial's family. We groan when Teresa announces she has money for Nial and none for her daughters, money he doesn't even want.

The performances are totally convincing in this production which has come from County Meath where director David Horan directed it first in November 2009. The Tesco bought quiche becomes something of a running joke. In between the agony there is humour, closely observed family quirks to lighten the terrible tragedy and start a debate as to who are the victims of a crime. Deirdre Kinahan's play puts this family's dysfunction and denial under a shattering magnifying glass. It is interesting to hear about the impact of crime on the family of the perpetrator, something not often written about.

Subscribe to our FREE email updates with a note from editor Elyse Sommer about additions to the website -- with main page hot links to the latest features posted at our numerous locations. To subscribe, E-mail:
put SUBSCRIBE CURTAINUP EMAIL UPDATE in the subject line and your full name and email address in the body of the message -- if you can spare a minute, tell us how you came to CurtainUp and from what part of the country.
Written by Deirdre Kinahan
Directed by David Horan

Starring: Maeve Fitzgerald, Deirdre Donnelly, Rebecca O'Mara, Ronan Leary, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh
With: Will Joseph Irvine, Karl Quinn, Aela O'Flynn
Set Design: Maeve Kearns
Costume Design: Elaine Chapman
Lighting: Moyra Darcy
Sound: Alun Smyth
Running time: Two hours and 10 minutes including an interval
Box Office: 020 8743 3584
Booking to 26th March 2011
Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge based on 28th February 2011 performance at the Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8QD (Tube: Shepherd's Bush)

Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of Moment
  • I disagree with the review of Moment
  • The review made me eager to see Moment
Click on the address link E-mail:
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email . . . also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.

London Theatre Walks

Peter Ackroyd's  History of London: The Biography

London Sketchbook

tales from shakespeare
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.
Our Review

©Copyright 2011, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from