Feature

Moment

Despite its title, this is “a play that lasts well beyond the moment.”

Steep Theatre, Chicago(866) 811-4111

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Despite its title, this is “a play that lasts well beyond the moment,” said Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune. Here in its first major U.S. production, Deirdre Kinahan’s story about a suburban Dublin family’s dark secret is in many ways a conventional domestic drama, but it’s exceptionally well-crafted. It can also be viewed as a microcosm of today’s Ireland—caught between “Old World notions of guilt and redemption” and a newer, less-rigid ethos. From the opening moments, it’s clear that all is not well in the Lynch household. But the return of Nial, a long-absent brother who committed a serious crime at 16, is what lights the fuse on the family’s latent resentments, which “explode just before intermission” with a breathtaking impact.

“Do I fully buy the extreme secret that is the motor behind this story? I can’t say that I do,” said Hedy Weiss in the Chicago Sun-Times. But the actors’ commitment to portraying “small shadings of behavior” makes all the difference. Cynthia Marker “sustains her taut-to-snapping edge with impressive ferocity” as Nial’s sister Niamh, who has never forgiven him and is “choked by her mother’s determined mask of denial.” Maggie Cain plays the deteriorating matriarch with a mix of willfulness and opacity, mirroring Josh Odor’s “enigmatic and emotionally knotted” turn as her prodigal son. His crime may be what drives Kinahan’s plot, but it’s the “wholly natural interplay” among these complex people that makes this work convincing.

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