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Brooding borderlands drama terrorised by past

Abbie Spallen's writing is as dark and rich as the boggy borderland in which her new play is set, where the past is underfoot, waiting to trip up and smother the future.

We first encounter the heavily pregnant Lally (Roisin Gallagher) in a field - Ciaran Bagnall's glorious set making real the 'insular, bovine and joyously repressive' landscape of Spallen's story. She and her mother-in-law (Carol Moore) are waiting for help: her son has become trapped down a well, echoing events 20 years previously, when as a small girl Lally herself became a national celebrity in the same circumstances. The community seems reluctant to help the Scut, unable to believe that lightning can strike in the same place twice.

Spallen's script is compelling as she coolly explores the fault lines on which our country rests, while the drama offers a thought-provoking snapshot of this time, this place, where the past, like a rat, is never more than six feet away.

Three stars

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