The Sit

 

Bewley’s Cafe Theatre

A white chair on a black stage sets the scene for The Sit, Gavin Kostick’s sophisticated one-act play which manages to deliver credible characters, a surprising arc of conflict/resolution, as well as some profound and relevant political ideas within the limited scope of its 35-minute form.

Set in the distinctly post-Celtic Tiger environment of an accountancy firm shedding profits and staff, the play begins with a water-cooler conversation between two of the firm’s employees – John, who has great ideas about tax evasion which he lacks the confidence to articulate, and a mysterious woman who turns out to be more powerful than she first pretends to be.

The tax jargon that defines their first exchange – “incorporating trust” is the name of the manoeuvre they begin to scheme – is a metaphor for the characters’ journeys as well. As the play breaks away from dialogue into individual soliloquy, the characters give us a sense of the determining circumstances of their ambitions: trust and betrayal figure there too.

Catríona Ní Mhurchu delights in Kostick’s characterisation of the power-hungry, disenfranchised working wife and mother. Her character presents an important feminist critique – but it is not simple or uni-linear. As she admits, “it doesn’t help that I am basically dislikeable.”

John Cronin also fleshes out the hesitant Paul with complex emotions as he is goaded for his weakness. He is “entangled”, yes, but by the end of the play, he is willing to accept responsibility both as a father and as a man.

With solid direction by Annabelle Comyn, effectively minimalist design from Sarah Jane Shiels, The Sitis a solid production that offers far more for the audience to think about than its form and lunchtime setting might otherwise suggest.

Until March 12th