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Mar 21 2018

A high octane theatrical experience

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

THE BLACK Box was packed to the seams on Tuesday evening for the premiere of Enda Walsh’s adaptation of Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing With Feathers, staged by Complicité and Wayward Productions in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival.

Walsh also directed the play and was joined by his frequent collaborators actor Cillian Murphy, set designer Jamie Vartan, composer Teho Teardo, sound designer Helen Atkinson and lighting designer Adam Silverman in a pulsating staging that deployed a whole arsenal of theatrical resources – film projection, music, and brilliant acting - to transform Porter’s remarkable novel into a no less remarkable play.

In Porter’s much-acclaimed 2015 novel, two young boys are trying to deal with the shock of their mother’s sudden death, as is their father who is a Ted Hughes scholar. Then, into their lives comes Crow, the trickster protagonist of Hughes’ most famous poetry collection. This other-worldly bird is drawn to the grieving family and declares he will stay until they no longer need him. There ensues much chaos and anarchy as Crow’s brand of grief therapy is of a type would appall the Medical Council. Yet his unruly presence in the family’s life does get them through the raw pain of their bereavement to the point where they are able to move on.

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