The First Child: Equal parts baffling and brilliant

Dublin Theatre Festival: This is a remarkable conclusion to Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s partnership

The First Child: what a treat it would be to see the full cycle performed in rep

The First Child: what a treat it would be to see the full cycle performed in rep

THE FIRST CHILD

O’Reilly Theatre, Belvedere College, Dublin
★★★★★
In Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s The First Child the mundane is made macabre, the ordinary rendered aberrant, by a chilling collision of circumstance and time.

To pull a conventional plot from Walsh’s libretto is difficult. Characters extol the merits of baby carriers and sterilisers in sung nonsequiturs; the “drama” is so pedestrian it is funny. However, it is worth trying to put a shape on the story of The First Child, in which a young girl (Karen) damaged by hate grows up to hate, and is compelled to avenge her own misery.

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