‘All There Is’: Intense, dark and menacing

'All There Is' which recently had its world premiere at The Playhouse.
'All There Is' which recently had its world premiere at The Playhouse.

The new play ‘All There Is’ has just been premiered at Derry’s Playhouse.

Written by Jonathan Bailie, it’s an intense and dark trilogy of monologues. It was directed by local JP Conaghan, presented by the theatre company Fahy Productions and stars local actors Micky Kelly, Nicky Harley and Francis Harkin.

A woman lying by the roadside. A taxi man does ‘the right thing’. At the hospital a nurse catches his eye and the connection is made. But the woman’s boyfriend wants to know what really happened. Because nobody touches his girl. He has only one lead - the taxi man. Slowly his paranoia eats away at him. Until finally, he makes a decision...

A world premiere performance of new Northern Irish writing from the company that brought you ‘Heroes with their Hands in the Air’.

A thin screen divided the stage from the audience. Before the play begins, a looped tape of the roof of a car speeding along roads at night is projected up. Quiet, slightly menacing music mixed with the chatter.

There are only ever three people on the stage. The props are simple but effective. Large human sized black blocks are stacked and moved around the stage by the characters, sometimes signifying other background characters, a bar top, back car seat, hospital bed.

The sparse stage and use of large blocks is very clever and smooth. The characters move the set themselves, often while speaking. It flows very well. A white sheet represents the collapsed girl, hospital bed covers, a forgotten scarf, even a line of cocaine.

The taxi driver, actor Micky Kelly, takes to the stage first. He speaks out to the audience, giving his honest account of a case of wrong place, wrong time. Trying to help an injured, drunk girl by taking her to hospital sparks a series of serious assumptions. Eye contact with the tired nurse as he hands over the injured girl cheers him, buoys him up. For now.

Nicky Harley stars as the nurse. Run down and tired from working nights, she returns home to her mother who is increasingly confused and exhausted. Hope has been extinguished in many ways in the nurse who deals with the drunk girl. She can’t dare hope that the handsome taxi driver could shine a light into her life.The ending is a collision of all three characters, a nervous and violent explosion. There is blood and the suspense is thick.