Following on swiftly from the Donmar's production of Conor McPherson's The Weir is his new play The Night Alive.
Like The Weir the story unfolds in one room, this time the bedsit of Tommy (Ciaran Hinds), and the narrative revolves around the arrival of a woman this time Aimee (Caoilfhionn Dunn). While the arrival of Valerie in The Weir brings out the verbal testosterone in the men of the play, Aimee brings a mixture of hope and trouble.
Tommy is Aimee's knight in shining armour coming to her assistance when she is attacked. A relationship of sorts blossoms each helping the other in their own way but it puts Tommy's lifestyle into sharp focus while he remains blind to Aimee's, something that has dramatic consequences.
Where The Weir's dark edges were more supernatural, in The Night Alive it is a sense of a danger and there are moments where the tension is palpable. Of course it is peppered with Conor McPherson's wit and humour but it doesn't quite reach the same level of warmth and heart.
The Night Alive has its moments not least in that like The Weir, you do feel you are there with the characters but it didn't feel quite as rounded. Great performances and another fabulous set but you can't help but compare it to The Weir which just felt more rounded.
It runs at the Donmar Warehouse until July 27 and is an hour and 45 minutes without interval.
Michael McElhatton plays Doc in this but he has worked with Andrea Riseborough in the Shadow Dancer and she was in The Pride with Mr W.