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G.O.D. review: Intense, compelling and intimate

Dublin Theatre Festival 2022: Lee Coffey’s play explores the tensions of recovery from addiction

G.O.D. (Good.Orderly.Direction.)


“Recovery isn’t a straight line, it’s an elastic band.” But what happens when your sanctuary becomes a dangerous place to be? Lee Coffey’s intense new drama explores the triumphs, failures and consequences of addiction recovery as six people try to reclaim their lives.

Kate (Lauren Larkin), Stephen (Luke Griffin), Dave (Loré Adewusi), Rebecca (Andrea Irvine), Damien (Simon O’Gorman) and Christine (Amelia Stewart Keating) are all recovering from active addiction. At their weekly support group, the stories of their past and present lives unfold and intersect.

From the start, G.O.D. is compelling and intimate. The sharpness and intensity of Coffey’s writing draws the audience into the action, assisted by the clever curation of the auditorium as an extension of the world of the play.

The decision to set the production in traverse is inspired. By placing the audience in the round they become part of the circle of trust that appears on stage, their placement mimicking the spatial dynamics of the characters’ shared world. As they watch each other watching, they are drawn into the striking intimacy of the characters’ stories.


Ellen Kirk’s suspended ceiling and island-like stage space combine to create the illusion that the world the characters inhabit is a precarious one, only tentatively present, and any imbalance could upset the careful equilibrium that Stephen, the group’s facilitator, has created.

It is not all high drama, however. With help from Eoin Winning’s simple but effective lighting design, Coffey’s writing necessarily draws on the grinding monotony of structured recovery. Despite this monotony, though, the audience can see that, for these characters, the stakes are dangerously and perilously high.

Audiences familiar with Coffey’s previous work will note that G.O.D. is a departure from his familiar, fast-paced verse structure. This evolution is exciting, as Coffey manages to preserve the intimacy he is known for creating through his characters while delivering a more determined and deliberate narrative.

Eoghan Carrick’s nuanced direction ensures that this slow burn is not overworked, and a skilled ensemble deliver compelling and forceful performances.

G.O.D. is a strikingly visceral production that should not be missed.

Runs at Axis, Ballymun, Dublin 9, until Saturday, October 8th, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival