Only Our Own’s scaled-back drama fails to engage

13 Jan


Ann Henning Jocelyn’s drama is the result of lengthy academic research. Set across the past 25 years, it traces the fortunes of three generations of an Anglo-Irish Protestant family in Connemara. Proud Lady Eliza (Elaine Mongomerie) still broods on her family’s dispossession at the hands of Catholic insurgents in the 1920s but her sullen granddaughter Titania (Alex Gilbert) is unwilling to accept a history lesson from her elders.

Then Lady Eliza dies, Titania reveals an advanced pregnancy and moves in with a Catholic man – but the onstage reaction to this succession of major revelations is bizarrely muted. Serious illness and emotional estrangement are met with equanimity. Henning Jocelyn seems unwilling to make a drama out of life-changing events.

There are references to ‘the new Ireland’ and a nation in transition but since the play never leaves the house and no strangers cross its threshold, we get little sense of…

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