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Review |Templemore

Templemore, the new play by Áine Ryan, premiered last week at the Dublin Tiger Fringe on the New Theatre Stage in Temple Bar. This poetic drama revolves around three young Garda recruits named Éadaoin, Shona and Gearóid as the three friends take the day off to attend a local festival together. What they anticipate will be a day of fun and recklessness evolves instead into a series of strange and sordid events.

Éadaoin and Gearóid have been seeing one another for a few weeks, and appear smitten, but in the middle of the festival, Éadaoin recognises a figure from her past: Ronan Kennedy, an older man she had been in a relationship with as a 14 year old girl. Éadaoin immediately becomes manic in her pursuit of him; her demeanour shifts, her sudden infatuation disturbing. Éadaoin’s obsession tears the three companions apart, and leads to a dreadful accident. The audience is brought on an upsetting and tragic journey, exposed to a world of doubt and unanswered questions.
This is the second play by playwright Áine Ryan. ‘I grew up close to Templemore and I have always been fascinated by people who choose to uphold laws and regulations, such as Gardaí,’ Ryan says when discussing how she came to write the play. ‘With recruitment to the force open once again, I wanted to examine what personal reasons people might have for joining. In this play, three students choose to be rebels for the day and we get to observe if control of our heart can ever be dominated by our head.’

Director Janice De Broithe explains how she became interested in the production: ‘One read through was enough to get me incredibly excited … The characters, the situation, the stakes involved, all ensure that this is one incredibly gripping play.’

Ryan, who also takes on the challenging part of Éadaoin, is joined by Cork actress, Irene Kelleher as Shona, with Gearóid played by Clare native, Mark Griffin.

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The dramatic language made the dialogue slightly incomprehensible at times; it seemed superfluous for this particular story, too erratic and difficult to understand. However, the writer and actors were brave to explore such a challenging theme and despite its somewhat convoluted rhythm, the writer and actors have displayed great passion and dedication to the piece.

This play is the product Ryan’s theatre production company, Studio Perform. It is clear from her performance that the young writer has great ambition and drive; it will be interesting to observe how her work evolves.

Templemore has finished it’s run at the Dublin Tiger Fringe. But it will also be performed at The Source Arts Centre, Thurles on October 2 at 8pm.

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