Continuity at Finborough Theatre
The main show at the intimate Finborough Theatre this summer season is Just to Get Married, but on Sundays to Tuesdays, for a three week period, the venue makes room for another production deserving to be seen. Continuity is one man’s account of the psychological journey of an Irish Republican as he drifts away from the cause and begins to question the entire system, starting with himself. Emerging playwright Gerry Moynihan’s raw and passionate monologue becomes a gripping experience under the direction of Shane Dempsey, and thanks to a brilliant performance by Paul Kennedy.
Using the same set as the theatre’s main play (a paint-stained floor, a ladder, and white sheets covering a few pieces of furniture), the piece sees protagonist Padraig Devlin (Kennedy) narrate his double life as a mechanic and “freedom fighter”. Meeting and falling in love with a Spanish girl seems to awaken his softer side and disrupt his conscience as he takes part in brutal missions, which, until this point, he believed necessary for the country’s freedom. “The cause” tests his limits and leads him towards a dehumanising process. He is constantly reassured that it is all strictly political and that nothing is personal. Yet, when the line he deems untouchable is crossed, the game changes for Padraig, and he no longer knows with certainty where his loyalties lie.
The text reveals a whole world of rich psychological complexities mixed with raw feelings, but the most praiseworthy element of the show is Paul Kennedy himself who has the great ability to impart these subtle but powerful undertones. He single-handedly brings to life the political context, the atmosphere within the community, the influence of religion, and all the different shades of the protagonist’s soul. He also gives a credible voice to all the secondary characters surrounding Padraig through brief impersonations that set them apart very clearly.
Continuity is a modest production with a short running time, but it uses every tool available – namely: words, performance skills, direction, lighting and sound – to propel itself forward and reach the audience, achieving this with great success. Compelling and intense, this modern play evokes the great classical tragedies and manages to engage with more force than many productions with a higher profile.
Photo: Gary Wolf
Continuity is at Finborough Theatre from 30th July until 15th August 2017. For further information or to book visit here.