In a cold, cruel proposition between a bitter aunt and an amoral matchmaker, the titular Sive is thrust into a match with a lecherous elderly bachelor. John B. Keane’s play, Sive, offers an unromantic, dark view of 1950s rural Ireland It is a study of how poverty can drive greed and cynicism, sometimes at the cost of others.
Dramsoc’s superb production was bolstered by its strong cast. Especially highlighting Odette O’Beirne was an excellent Mena Glavin. Her strong, acerbic delivery conveyed Mena’s resentful, cruel energy throughout the play. Thanks to the excellent performances of Saoirse Carey as Nanna and Mike played by John Maher alongside, Odette O’Beirne’s Mena, the palpable tensions threatening to erupt between characters were perfectly captured in the play. This is especially true of the bitter on-stage relationship between Nanna and Mena. Overall, these characters shined through emotionally charged moments of the play.
Special mention also has to go to Riain Fitzsimons as the unscrupulous matchmaker,
Thomasheen Seán Rua. He was able to be seamlessly shift from being serious to comic without a hitch. He provided much needed comic relief through his animated body language and the delivery of his witty lines.
However, the dance segments between Sive and Liam Scuab as well as Sive’s dance at the end of the first act felt cheesy. The music and dance felt sudden and abrupt. It felt out of place. Shouldn’t the actors themselves be able to convey all these emotions of love and frustration without some kind of dance sequence? I appreciate the director trying to make us see the chemistry of characters or their emotions in a different, but it didn’t fit the overall staging of the play for me.
Dramsoc’s production of Sive was excellent and strengthened by a solid cast of actors. It was able to reproduce John B. Keane’s unflinchingly gloomy depiction of 1950’s rural Ireland and the tragedy that befalls Sive.