Review of A Safe Passage

By Andrew Keegan

Photo by Marcin Lewandowski

On the surface, “A Safe Passage” is an uncomplicated, transparent tale of a humble lighthouse keeper, a troubled young adult, and how the two come to form a deep, unlikely relationship that will ultimately change both of their lives, forever. 
“A Safe Passage”, written by Irene Kelleher and directed by Geoff Gould, follows two protagonists. Christy, played by Seamus O’Rourke, is a reserved and unremarkable man, who lives out his days guiding those at sea. Alongside Christy, we also follow a peculiar and unpredictable young woman known as Marilyn, played by the formerly mentioned Irene Kelleher. Throughout the sixty-minute run time, we watch as the two gradually begin to develop a bond as the pair come to know more about each other and their past. 
The production is set in 1979, New Year’s Eve, and immediately I must commend the set designer, Hannah Lane for her clever inclusion of props and other objects, such as the long-outdated radio and lantern. The use of these props allows the audience to comfortably immerse themselves fully into the show.  
As well as the set production, audio design plays a vital role. Sounds effects such as the crackling of the radio, can be used to convey a sense of isolation and loneliness. Another example includes the exaggerated rattling of the spilled pills hitting against the floor, which creates an uneasy atmosphere among the audience. 
“A Safe Passage” explores many themes throughout its duration, these being, ‘the devastating effects of isolation’, the ‘importance of human connection’, and ‘overwhelming guilt’. In my opinion, I feel that not only does the production convey these themes effectively but does so in a delicate manner as they are real world issues that affect countless people.  
At its core, “A Safe Passage” is a gut-wrenching, somber story of two individuals embracing their sorrow together. With passionate acting, black comedy and a gripping plot, every audience member is bound to leave the theatre astonished and wholeheartedly satisfied.

Andrew Keegan is a member of Fracture Youth Theatre in Thurles Co. Tipperary and is a Young Critic for 2022.

Introducing the Young Critics 2022!

Youth Theatre Ireland are delighted to announce this year’s Young Critics from 14 different youth theatres across the country!

The Young Critics is one of Youth Theatre Ireland’s longest running programmes and sees 16 youth theatre members come together to learn about theatre criticism and response. The programme this year is led by Alan King, Rebecca Feely, and esteemed academic and theatre critic Dr. Karen Fricker.

The Young Critics 2022 are:

MaryJane O’Connor O’Leary, Activate Youth Theatre, Co. Cork

Dearbhla McCormick, Monaghan Youth Theatre

Liam O’Neill, Dreamstuff Youth Theatre, Co. Kilkenny

Yasna Tofail, Limerick Youth Theatre

Helen McCarthy, Explore Youth Theatre, Co. Kildare

Chaya Smyth, Dublin Youth Theatre

Cian Griffin, WACT Youth Theatre, Co. Wexford

Amelie Prone, Kildare Youth Theatre

James Acheson Dennehy, Stagecraft Youth Theatre, Co. Tipperary

Keeley Guilfoyle, Clare Youth Theatre

Andrew Keegan, Fracture Youth Theatre, Co. Tipperary

Ethan Mallon, Act Out Youth Theatre, Co. Meath

Mia Clinch, Sligo Youth Theatre

Molly Crilly, Act Out Youth Theatre, Co. Meath

Nneka Okosi, MAD Youth Theatre, Co. Louth

Becca McGlone, Sligo Youth Theatre

This year the crew have already been to the Cork Midsummer Festival where they saw A Safe Passage by Irene Kelleher, Guests of the Nation by CorcaDorca, and they also had the opportunity to see some visual art installations across the city.

The Young Critics will come together again from October 7th-9th for Dublin Theatre Festival, and the weekend will culminate with a panel discussion at The Project Arts Centre on October 9th at 1pm. Tickets are free and you can find out more on Dublin Theatre Festival’s website.

You can find out more about the Young Critics programme and other programmes for youth theatre members here.