Why do we go to the theatre? Indeed, why do we feel the need to make theatre?
Personally I believe part of it is the deep human need to make sense of our world through storytelling. By saying aloud our deepest wants, fears and needs we start to comprehend them.
In the theatre we hear and experience the most epic and the most mundane of stories, there is always something or someone we can relate to. In a room full of strangers we come together to hopefully better understand ourselves.
The Weir is a play that walks that line between the epic and the mundane. On the surface it seems like a simple play – some country fellas welcome the new woman in town by telling her stories from local folklore in their favourite boozer. As the night goes on each tale becomes gradually darker until each of the characters is truly spooked. But underneath this seemingly light-hearted chatter the play speaks directly to that very human desire to come together and share; the comfort we feel in company.
In a world of male banter and lonely, windswept hilltops each of these solitary men quietly performs small acts of kindness. Without be asked, and without looking for acknowledgement they all do what they can to make life a little easier for each other. At times even they seem unaware of their own generosity and perhaps if they were aware they would let old rivalries or current misunderstandings stand in the way.
There is certainly something deeper than their shared hometown keeping these men together.
Now in week two as the rehearsal process digs a little deeper it is dragging up deep feelings of loss, hope and, most importantly, love. Just as these men welcome Valerie into their town, this play welcomes its audience to look a little closer at how we all relate to each other and invites us to all to be a little kinder.
The Weir, Sherman Theatre, October 7 to 22