Coming soon to Nun’s Island Theatre, Fregoli present Tape by American playwright Stephen Belber, a play which the company previously presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2008 where it received a five star review.
Tape centres on three former school friends who are reunited through strange circumstance in a motel room. The action occurs over one night and differing perceptions of past events are called into question. Tape tackles questions of motive, memory, truth, and perception and this production will be characteristic of Fregoli’s energetic and captivating style.
“I think we first came across it in its film version with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman,” director Rob McFeeley tells me as he recalls Fregoli’s first staging of the play. “Immediately, we loved the play. It is a great character piece; it is short and succinct (about 50 minutes ) and we had a great group of actors then who brought the most out of it. When we did it in Edinburgh the audience loved it.
“It is a play about examining how things are not as they may appear and how memories change over time,” McFeeley continues. “The premise is that we have three people who are stuck in a room together. They were friends many years ago but they have changed over time and the story emerges where they have to replay an event from years ago which they each remember slightly differently and they each want something different and that creates the tension of the play.
“It has themes of guilt, loyalty, truth, accusations, which creates a huge tension that comes to the fore. It is also a play about how things aren’t always black and white, the truth of what happened is often based in our memories and what we make of them.”
McFeeley directed the play in 2008 and does so again now. This time out he has a new cast to work with; Jarlath Tivnan, Eilish McCarthy and Peter Shine, all of whom featured in Fregoli’s terrific recent production of Pleasure Ground.
“They bring a new energy and a new way of looking at the play,” he observes. “I have also grown in that time as a director and look at these things in a new way and all that has really hit off with this production. Fregoli try to do one big and one small production every year, after touring Pleasure Ground earlier in the year, this is our ‘small’ show where we take the same actors but with an off-the-shelf script.”
I ask McFeeley if he has chosen to keep the play’s American setting for this staging. “The first time we did Tape we ‘de-Americanised’ it,” he replies. “When we read it this time we felt the script was written in the tongue of the author and the words of the author and its themes flow through from the author’s home place. By taking that away you remove it too much from its original setting, and the actors this time are very keen to do it in its own American voice.”
Tape plays Nun’s Island Theatre, for three nights, from Tuesday August 30 to Thursday September 1 at 8pm. Tickets are €12 / €10 and are available at the door or online via www.galwayartscentre.ie