The Weir by Conor McPherson opens in a rural Irish pub with Brendan, the publican and Jack, a car mechanic and garage owner. The two begin to discuss their respective days and are soon joined by Jim. The three then discuss Valerie, a pretty young woman from Dublin who has just rented an old house in the area. Then Finbar, a businessman, arrives with Valerie.
The play revolves around reminiscence and the kind of banter which only comes about amongst men who have a shared upbringing. After a few drinks, the group begin telling stories with a supernatural slant, related to their own experience or those of others in the area, and which arise out of the popular preoccupations of Irish folklore: ghosts, fairies, and mysterious happenings.
After each man (with the exception of Brendan ) has told a story, Valerie tells her own - the reason why she has left Dublin. Valerie’s story is melancholy and undoubtedly true, with a ghostly twist which echoes the earlier tales, and shocks the men who become softer, kinder, and more real. There is the hint that the story may lead to salvation and, eventually, a happy ending for two of the characters.
Finbar and Jim leave, and in the last part of the play, Jack’s final monologue is a story of personal loss which, he comments, is at least not a ghostly tale but in some ways is nonetheless about a haunting.
The Weir comes to the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone on Wednesday April 30. To book tickets call the box office on (090 ) 6492129.