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I must commend the set designer, Hannah Lane for her clever inclusion of props and other objects, such as the long-outdated radio and lantern.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.