20-24th November, 2007. The Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre.
“Da” is a tightly constructed, one-set memory play, a traditional theatrical form, made popular by Tenessee William’s “The Glass Menagerie”, in which adult narrators look back on their younger selves in a life-changing moment.
The action takes place in the small claustrophobic house, in the Dublin suburb of Dalkey, where Charlie grew up. Charlie has come home from London to bury his foster father. While clearing away some papers and junk, Da butts into Charlie’s mind with unasked for advice and truisms, with offers of nice cups of tea and with biased recollections of events that are still painful to the middle-aged Charlie.
When Da isn’t rewriting history to his own advantage, he settles back in his easy chair and offers the kind of platitudes that earlier helped to drive Charlie from Ireland. “If the old heart hadn’t given out on me the evening before last”, Da observes with his usual cheery sagacity, “I’d still be alive today.”