Refusing to follow the script
This detective story refuses any neat endings – to great effect
The New Theatre
There are five crucial elements to a detective story, Noelle Brown tells us in the opening moments of Postscript: setting, character, plot, problem, and solution. Postscript is the story of Brown’s own search for details of her childhood adoption, and she takes on a fictional identity – that of private investigator Breda Browne – as a means of protecting herself from the inevitable hurt that her search will cause both for her and her adopted family. It is a moving story stoically enacted by Browne and Bríd Ní Neachtain, who beautifully brings to life the letters that form the linchpin of Browne’s journey.
It is where Postscript deviates from its narrative inspiration, however, that it becomes most interesting, as Brown, along with co-writer Michele Forbes, refuses the neat problem-solution trajectory of the traditional detective story. This makes for a slightly uneasy, jagged structure that Conor Hanratty refuses to tame. It also makes Postscript a more powerful piece of work.
Ends Sept 14