We round up the reviews for Eugene O’Hare’s play starring Kathy Kiera Clarke, Mairead McKinley and Carla Langley.

(c)Manuel Harlan

Broadway World: ** “The problem with hitting hard and fast is that writer and director Eugene O’Hare doesn’t have anywhere to go after dropping the dramatic payload in the first few minutes. The rest of the play is spent cack-handedly picking up the pieces and trying to move along awkwardly by dropping one too many bombshells to make up for it.”

The Arts Desk: *** “Eugene O’Hare’s The Dry House is the kind of spare but oddly lyrical three-hander that would have made a good Wednesday Play back in the day. For Conor McPherson fans, it will seem like familiar terrain, with all the ingredients for an unusual domestic drama.”

The Guardian: *** “McKinley never loses touch with Chrissy’s former vitality, Clarke swaps the ditziness of Aunt Sarah in Derry Girls for a flinty determination and Langley does her valiant best with a distinctly uncertain monologue from beyond the grave. An occasional prioritising of symbolism over common sense is epitomised by the sight of Chrissy triumphantly yanking open the curtains that have been closed for so long, right at the very moment when she is about to leave the house unoccupied for two months.”

London Unattached: “A well-planned set (Niall McKeever) is brought to life by excellent lighting (Robbie Butler) as writer and director Eugene O’Hare’s The Dry House tackles a subject that all too easily could be depressing, using black humour to capture the attention of the audience through 90 minutes of tender and convincing drama.”

Lost in Theatreland: *** 1/2 “Still, there’s no doubt that these issues do need addressing, nor that at the strongest back and forth of Chrissie and Claire’s dialogue the play is both heartfelt and funny, even as these characters drag us through the depths with them. Perhaps what it needs is simply to trust its own material more – the audience doesn’t need everything explained, and often it is more rewarding when it isn’t.”

(c)Manuel Harlan

West End Best Friend: **** “The Dry House is a deeply dark and emotional piece of theatre, which is brutally honest about the devastating impact of alcoholism but also focuses on the strength of family and the hope and support loved ones can provide during times of need. The Dry House is powerful, timely and beautifully acted.”

London Theatre1: ***** “This was a wonderful evening in the theatre – you could say that this is what theatre is all about, not just to entertain, but to make the audience feel uncomfortable: there are laughs, but these are usually very black and just emphasise the journey O’Hare’s characters are making. I felt totally drained by the end, as did those around me – BUT it was a very powerful experience and very, very highly recommended!”

All That Dazzles: **** “If Eugene O’Hare’s writing and direction is exemplary, the way the three cast members interpret them and make his words leap off the stage with such realism really is powerful. Though the topics at hand can make for uncomfortable viewing, the way these are performed with a brutal and gritty authenticity is admirable and leads to a performance that completely resonates with the audience, leading to an emotive viewing. Flawlessly treading the balance with such triggering themes, The Dry House is an absolute triumph.”

The Reviews Hub: *** 1/2 “All this might make for a bleak 90-minutes, but writer and director Eugene O’Hare injects a welcome strand of dark humour into events. There is light and shade here, and at its heart this is a story of hope, redemption, and the importance of honesty in facing grief.”

Theatre and Tonic.co.uk: **** “The show is certainly a testament to Eugene O’Hare, writer and director of The Dry House who is also an actor and poet. The grittiness of the plot and the representation of grief and alcoholism slot the show nicely into the ‘dark comedy’ genre, with the much-loved Irish humour lighting things up throughout and getting laughs from the audience.”

The Dry House will continue to play at the Marylebone Theatre until the 6th May 2023.



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