BWW Review: THE MATCH BOX, Omnibus Theatre
Sal is in Ireland and alone in the sparsely populated West, somewhere away from the tourist trails to the Ring of Kerry, with its Bostonian dollars and vestiges of the 90s Celtic Tiger boom still evident . The locals view her with something between hostility and fear - her red hair and heritage may say that she's one of theirs, but her accent and history do not. Her memories haunt her, her life is sliding through her fingers, her neuroses gain ground every day.
Sal strikes a match and tells us why.
Frank McGuiness's play is a tough watch - Angela Marray excels as the lone presence on stage, but her company, raw and wild-eyed, makes significant demands over the play's two hours running time. You can't always resist the temptation to look away.
Those demands are exacerbated by the parallels that keep popping into your head as Sal's tale unfolds. #BlackLivesMatter seeking to crack open the omerta that smothers investigations into police killings in the USA. Gang violence perpetrated by young men puffed up by testosterone and the toxic overvaluing of "respect" stalking the streets to which we return after the play. The televised press conferences after homicides turning into unreliable slices of real Reality TV. None of this is pretty.
Director, James O'Donnell, gives us little relief either, noise crashing around us before we're back to sympathising with Sal but "knowing" where her pyromania has taken her. We wouldn't go there - even after the loss of a child, an only child - would we?