Troubled Conversations - A Short Review by Daniel Downey

Troubled Conversations is a play about the impacts of The Troubles on people living in Ireland. It is directed by Kevin O’Connor and supported by the International Fund for Ireland and Cavan County Council Arts Office. The play is done in verbatim style, a medium of telling a person’s story from beginning to end as if the actors are the storytellers themselves.

The four actors capture the experiences and lives of the four people from various communities who survive their experiences to find lives of peace and an ability to retell the happenings that shaped them through the years of The Troubles. Ray Fitzsimons and Johnny Binchy powerfully portray the boys caught up in the circumstances which led to their participation in the struggles and vividly portray the meaning of what it was to live in such times and the reasons why so many found themselves in situations of conflict and life changing impacts. Deidre Reilly and Kathy Fitzpatrick accurately recount the lives of women living in a world of discrimination, misunderstanding and the impacts of the Troubles on people striving to live a normal life.

Together these four excellent actors paint a story relevant to us all on the island, on every side of our communities and beyond. Kevin O’Connor has done a great service to our understanding of The Troubles by being entrusted with such stories so that we as an audience of the play and participants in Irish society on both sides of the border can learn about the motivations and reactions people had as a result of this time.

Finally thanks must be given to the four lives who took time to share their experiences of the Troubles and for giving us the opportunity to learn about these past struggles so we can avoid repetition in the present and future and build a lasting peace on our island together.

Review by Daniel Downey,
Cavan Community Forum. 086 351 2308