By Guest Blogger John Hartery
Nestled away in the middle of the Waterford Imagine Festival was a little gem. We arrived just in time to get the last available tickets on the Friday night of the run. Noel Kelly is well known to local theatre-goers and his latest offering is a fine piece. End Of Term is a short play about a middle-aged man who wonders 'have you ever asked yourself, is that all there is to life?'. It's a two-hander with Brendan Payne playing the part of Michael and Lorraine Murphy as Maura. The production group is the local Stagemad
The play is lightly-rooted in Waterford with a nod to the high water (1959) and low water (2008) points in local sport. It is recalled that the couple's first date was to the Granville where she drank Stag.The format of the early part of the work is a series of monologues as we see their marriage gradually break up. There's a fling for Michael with his fellow teacher and the impact of the recession on the Maura's business. Payne delivered an outstanding performance and wonderfully traced the lead up to the mid life crisis he faced. Murphy was a perfect foil and wholly convincing as the wife at a loss as her husband reassessed his life.
The final scene from Payne was powerful and memorable. The play was directed by James Power with Liam Fitzpatrick as stage manager and Richard Collins subtlety looking after the sound and light. Well done to all involved!
The Central Hall venue is a wonderful addition to the city's theatre space and plaudits to Red Kettle for its efforts to do this. Friendly and helpful staff added to the occasion. We look forward to return visits.